Why do we make Lungtas at Merigar East?
Making the Lungtas by hand is a long process. It takes about two months and a half and several people’s contribution. But we still do it, every year, for about 5 years now. Why do we do it?
First, because preparing Lungtas is practice! It trains diligence, patience and generosity. The Lungta makers are constantly in contact with the colours of the elements and with the mantras, cultivating good intentions and wishes for the final users of the flags. With the Lungtas we embellish the gar and support their function of liberating through seeing.
Second, because we are passionate about handmade and ecological processes. This makes sense for us, because spending time with the product, immersing in it artistically, enjoying the process is fulfilling and gives a special connection to the flags. This process attracts the attention of other people who make things by hand as a hobby and gives us an opportunity to tell a story: the Tibetan prayer flags are not just a decorative item. They talk about the elements, about astrology, about Tibetan symbolism and about our practice.
Third, because preparing Lungtas is a profitable activity for the gar. My friends couldn’t believe it when I told them that the flags are really bringing us several thousands of euros every year. It’s impressive, and for our budget is a great source of support! Thank you, community! Of course, in order to raise funds, we need to have karma yogis who are willing to do this, even just for a few weeks. We greatly appreciate people who can sew, as they can help even from their home, but also people who are good at marketing, at promoting our product and selling it online. If you can do anything to help, we would highly appreciate it!
How do we do it?
We start by cutting the colored cotton to measure. This year we exceptionally acquired an electric rotary cutter to make this phase (the longest of all) a bit quicker and more precise.
Then we do the screen printing in the Gönpa, until we cover the whole floor with flags. They are left to dry, then they are sorted following the traditional sequence of colors, and readied for sewing. We have two sewing machines and some people have learned how to use them just for this occasion.
While doing this, we listen to recorded teachings, we recite or sing the mantra of the elements, khaita joyful Tibetan songs or sometimes just plain pop songs to keep the rhythm going.
No specific skills are needed, but you do develop patience doing this work!
We empower and hang hundreds of flags on the day of Losar (the Tibetan New Year, 21st of February this year) and in the following weeks. Join us next year for the Lungta project, either in person or at a distance.
Karma yoga and your donations are helping to keep the Gar going!
Awakening the wisdom of our own perfection: the Six Paramitas
In march we prepared a truly inspiring online course. Reflecting on our own perfection enables us to live our life within society in presence and awareness. This seminar, held between 13th and 19th of March was based on the explanations of the Six Perfections, also called the Six Paramitas.
We all have our own journey with beings defined as “others”, sometimes with the intention of helping them in different situations. This altruistic aspiration is called Bodhichitta in action which is the manifestation of the Six Paramitas (Six Perfections): Generosity, Morality, Patience, Perseverance, Meditative Stability and Discriminating Wisdom.
“Training in the Bodhicitta in action consists mainly in training gradually in the Six Paramitas or ‘perfections’ […] After first having understood well their basic principles and their subdivisions, we should put them into practice in order to integrate their fundamental sense within ourselves” (Chögyal Namkhai Norbu – The Precious Vase)
In this course participants engaged more deeply with the Six Paramitas, in 9 intensive sessions in one week, to discover how to bring these perfections into our lives right now.
We are also preparing for a hot but happy summer with the continuation of the Gönpa Renovation project, focused on finishing the painting of the ceiling. We are inviting artists and karma yogis to join us in another artistic summer camp on the wild shores of the Black Sea, from mid-July to mid-August. We will also dedicate time to the Vajra dance (beginning of July, with Zoli Cser) and to practicing contemplation, at the beginning of September, with Igor Berkhin. Follow our schedule on Dzogchen.ro and plan your trip to the sunny Gar in advance!