Losar Day 2016: An Abundance of Offerings by Lama Kathy Wesley
Tibetan New Year 2016 began with a flurry of snow – streets in Columbus were clogged with commuters, and on the stage in the auditorium at the McConnell Arts Center in Worthington, 15 people made elaborate offerings of fruit, flowers, and lights to usher in New Year.Sitting on cushions large and small, with makeshift tables covered in brocade, they chanted the Praises of Tara to remove obstacles for all beings. Volunteers served tea and sweet rice in a nod to the Tibetan culture; a few came in to meditate silently before the workday.
KTC is a community of nomads, putting up its shrine table covered in white and maroon in various rooms at our temporary home at the MAC. While people of all ages flock to the MAC to learn about art, the KTC is chanting and meditating; we’re so grateful to have a place for our cushions and our hearts in this time of transition.
Meanwhile, KTC board members are tying up loose ends with the demolition company that is razing the old KTC to the ground. Most of the work was completed Saturday, with the next big steps coming this week: scooping up and carrying away the remains of the building and filling the empty spaces with fresh dirt. Returning the earth to its natural state is required under the demolition order, but it also feels right – like wiping a slate clean before starting afresh.
We will get a hand in bringing closure to the property this Saturday, when Lama Wangdu conducts a tea and smoke offering for the local deities and spirits. Tibetans understand the importance of paying one’s respects and offering gratitude to the beings who inhabit the land; we’ll offer that gratitude at the KTC Grubb Street property at about 2:30 p.m. Saturday with a special prayer service.
There will be charcoal and a bit of juniper offered in a brazier in the parking lot; feel free to stop by and pay your respects to the land, and offer it your thanks. The prayers will last about a half-hour, so be certain to dress warmly, in case there is cold and wind.
The search continues for semi-permanent space for the KTC’s Tuesday and Sunday programs; board members have spent a bit time in recent days making calls and visiting churches and other places to see if they can meet our needs. Lists of KTC possessions – our shrine objects, library books, bookstore items, audio equipment, and more – are being compiled by volunteers for the insurance adjuster.
This week our dear friend Lama Tom Broadwater, resident lama of the Athens KTC, goes to India to see His Holiness Karmapa and attend the 33rd Annual Kagyu Monlam. Our prayers to with him – and with our spiritual guide Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche, who will be leading a delegation of lamas from our “home” center, Karma Triyana Dharmachakra. Prayers for the KTC will be top of mind for the group, and we appreciate the goodness being sent our way!
Research continues on our three options – rebuilding on the current site, selling the property and buying another, or selling the property and building elsewhere. The board will start gathering “specifications” for our new KTC space early next week from members and friends; the information-gathering will take several weeks but will lead to the next stage of considering all of our options.
While we prayerfully wait for the next steps in our “journey home” to become more clear, we’re moved to gratitude by all of the donors and friends, old and new, who have stepped forward to help us. We are grateful for you, and offer your merit for the benefit of all sentient beings!