upon sincere request by my dear Friend Gael Thompson.
Happy Losar! Happy Mardi Gras!
Hurray! Once again, Losar, the celebration of the Tibetan New Year, aligns with Mardi Gras! Both festivities fall on a different date each year, with Loser beginning this year on February 24, about the same time the mounted police shut down Bourbon Street on the night of the 25th.
Losar was celebrated in Tibet before Buddhism took root, with extensive preparation involving rituals and cleaning, clearing the way for a beneficial new year to come. Continuing in this tradition, Losar is a profound renewal of spiritual aspiration and connection with the Saints of Tibetan tradition. It has been described as a ritual of gratitude, and an offering to the local spirits associated with the natural world around them.
On the other side of the world, here in New Orleans, our renewal of connection occurs in the streets, with a wondrous mingling of community, Ritual of Revelry and a substantial consumption of Spirits. We celebrate our precious human life while acknowledging the inevitable turn of the wheel as each year passes.
There is a certain essence we share in our rituals: a belief that the happiness of the Gods and Spirits ensures the wellbeing of all people in the New Year to come. And so we engage in joyous celebration!
Sacred Sand Mandala by the Drepung Gomang Monks coming in March
Support the LHA Clean Water Project for Tibetan Refugees
Meditation Class Schedule at Tibetan House
Kaiut Method Classes with Sati Yoga
No Sitting in Stillness Meditation Class or
Kaiut Method Class on
Tuesday, February 25
Lama Lena in New Orleans
February 28 – March 3, 2020
There is a subtle yet very apparent wave of excitement when word gets out that Lama Lena is arriving soon. Clear your calendars from February 28th to March 3rd. Teachings will be offered at Louisiana Himalayan Association (LHA), Clearwater Sanctuary Compassion Retreat in Bush, LA, Swan River, and Tibetan House.
About Lama Lena
Lama Lena (Yeshe Kaytup) is a teacher of Direct Mind Perception Meditation and a lineage holder of several Tibetan Buddhist traditions. Her informal style is precise and direct and she is revered by students around the world for her exceptional ability to share profound teachings in a clear, poetic, and humorous way.
Beginning in 1972, Lama Lena spent three years studying with Lama Thubten Yeshe at his monastery in Nepal. She then spent seven years in retreat and practice in a small cave above Tso Pema under the tutelage of her root teacher, Ven. Wangdor Rimpoche. She continued to travel extensively with him as his translator and assistant.
Having also studied Chinese medicine, Lama Lena had a private practice in the San Francisco Bay Area. In 2005 she returned to Tso Pema to assist Wangdor Rimpoche. She currently lives on the mountain above Lotus Lake with her two khandros where she provides medical assistance to the Tibetan refugee community, the local Indian villagers, and mountain tribespeople.
At the request of H.E., Zigar Choktrul Rimpoche and Ven.Wangdor Rinpoche – as well as many Western and Tibetan dharma students – she has been traveling, teaching, and translating from the lineages she holds.
Traditionally Buddhist teachings are given free of charge because they are considered priceless – nobody can place a fee on something that brings complete liberation from suffering. Not charging for teachings is also done with the motivation of making the Dharma accessible to everyone, so that nobody is excluded from attending due to lack of funds.
In the Buddhist tradition, however, there is also the practice of generosity by making monetary offerings for Dharma teachings. This expression of generosity, referred to by the Sanskrit term ‘Dana’, is not payment for services rendered; rather it is an offering given freely from the heart in appreciation of the Dharma. It is a gift that supports not only the teachers and the wider Dharma community, but also one’s own practice.
We request a donation per event/venue to cover expense of travel, lodgings, meals etc. We suggest a $20 donation. Whatever donation works for you is appreciated.
Offerings,Dana, are handed to the teacher in a white envelope after the teaching. You will notice a line forming. We supply white envelopes.
The Monks are Coming!
Sacred Art Tour of the
Drepung Gomang Monastery
March 10 – March 14
We are very excited to announce that the Drepung Gomang Sacred Art Tour will be with us this March. They will be creating a Sand Mandala at the New Orleans Academy of Fine Arts. Opening Ceremony will be Wednesday morning, March 11, 2020. The mandala will be completed by Friday evening. The Dissolution Ceremony will take place Saturday morning, March 14th.
Sand painting is an ancient Tibetan art form. The sand mandala is carefully constructed from dyed sand particles to represent the particular esoteric, textual traditions of Buddhism. It is a transient art form, thought to have originated in India and been transferred in the middle ages to Tibet. The sand mandala is constructed as vehicle to generate compassion, realize the impermanence of reality, and a social/cosmic healing of the environment.
You will have the opportunity to view the inception, creation and completion of a Sand Mandala. The completion is following by the Dissolution, in which the remarkable creation is swept into a sacred mixture of multi-colored sacred and blessed sand. The sacred sand will mostly be distributed to viewers at the event. A vase of the sand will be taken to the river at the Fly, and with great ceremony, emptied into the Mississippi River, so that the prayers will be carried into the universe.
For a more detailed understanding of the Sacred Arts Tour, and the creation of a Sacred Sand Mandala, please open the following links:
We are raising funds to help the Louisiana Himalaya Association (LHA) with their Clean Water Project which provides more than 10,000 people with access to safe drinking water every day. Since the projects initiation in 2013, 27 water filtration systems have been installed in schools, monasteries, nunneries, and community centers located in Tibetan refugee settlements in the Himalayas around Dharamsala, India. Currently, we are raising money to keep these systems maintained with new filters for another year!
The maintenance (repairs, filter replacements etc.) of all the water filtration systems costs approximately $5,500 for the year. Funding will be raised in part by the Apocolypse Ball, who donates all proceeds toward the LHA Clean Water Project.
100% of your donation will go directly to this project. There are no overhead expenses or managerial costs, as LHA is completely volunteer staffed organization. For more info on LHA go to www.lhainfo.org .
Your donations, big or small, will have an immediate, long-lasting impact. For every $10 we raise 20 people will have safe clean drinking water for an entire year!
Thank you from all of us for your generosity!
Eva Sohl on behalf of the Louisiana Himalaya Association
About the Louisiana Himalaya Association
The Louisiana Himalaya Association (LHA) is a 501c3 nonprofit social work organization dedicated to improving the lives of Tibetan refugees, and to making ancient Tibetan wisdom traditions available to the world. LHA is a completely volunteer staffed organization; therefore, all of the donations received go to the actual social service projects for which they are donated. LHA’s base, Dharamsala, India is the settlement area to a large portion of the exiled Tibetan refugees and the home of the Dalai Lama. There, they provide vital resources for Tibetan refugees as well as local Indian and Himalayan communities, including healthcare, employment, education and more.
Tibetan House offers weekly classes on Sitting in Stillness meditation practice. The first Tuesday and Friday of every month will be more of an introductory class for newcomers. It is not necessary to attend the first class in order to come the following classes of the month, although it is recommended. Meditation practice rests on continuity and consistency. You are welcome and encouraged to participate continually month to month.
The Kaiut Method is a form of yoga that was developed over the last 30 years and adapted to the concerns of the modern day, especially the chronic issues stemming from the Western lifestyle and its particular stresses on the body and mind.
Classes begin with restoring and preserving biomechanical health, where the teacher skillfully guides students to relieve stiffness and reduce discomfort in the body. The practice builds strength and flexibility while promoting the body’s natural ability to restore itself and rest deeply.
The teacher will adapt the classes to the needs of each individual. All are welcome and can benefit from this practice.
Every BODY is welcome and benefits from this adaptation of traditional yoga, from absolute beginners to experienced practitioners working with blockages in their personal practice.
Alessandra and Bruno have a collective experience of 22 years of practicing and teaching the Kaiut Method and continue ongoing training with the founder Francisco Kaiut.
To know more about the Kaiut Method, please visit:
Space is limited – Please pre-register to reserve your spot by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or call (504) 897-9339 and leave a message.
May all beings never be apart from the supreme bliss