Many of you know that I am a practicing Tibetan Buddhist. My sangha (fellow practitioners) is Tara Mandala, and our teacher, Lama Tsultrim Allione, was one of the first Western women to be ordained a Tibetan Buddhist nun in the Karma Kagyu lineage by His Holiness the 16th Karmapa, Rangjung Rigpe Dorje (1924-1981). The above greeting was recently issued by his successor, HH the 17th Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje (1985-).
HH the Dalai Lama has offered this translation of the traditional greeting, Tashi Delek: "May you be happy here and now and achieve definite goodness." He has spoken about the importance of this at this time of Losar and suggests that we strive to live a life of meaning and to focus on benefiting others.
In this year of the Fire Bird, which begins on Monday, February 27, 2017, here are a few ideas about what to expect (taken from articles published in the Elephant Journal):
"The Year of the Firebird will be especially exciting. By its nature, the energy of the firebird holds the intense power for continual recreation. It is the symbolic representation of awakening, similar to the Phoenix.
In Buddhism, we see the firebird as a tenacious animal, determined and built for hard work, but also impulsive and hotheaded in her demeanor. Similar to most passionate individuals, they adore the fine art of connecting. We open ourselves to a time of greater community involvement and socialization as we welcome this new year. It said that this year combines discipline and vigilance with tenderness and courage. As we work together on challenges, we are reminded to leave time for play and banter.
The female Firebird year is often seen as an energetic but scattered year. There are many opportunities, but concentration is necessary in order to enjoy their fruits. The fire element adds a rather daunting but pregnant-with-possibility mix: Fire transmits a vital, brilliant, and transforming energy and enhances expression, extroversion, and the ability to make decisions."