Welcome to the Year of Yang Fire Monkey (And the Lenten Sutra Readings)

Welcome to the Year of Yang Fire Monkey, according to the Chinese and Tibetan calendars. Many centuries ago, Padma Sambhava, the Vajra Guru, was born in another Year of the Yang Fire Monkey. So it is auspicious that this year, the third day of Losar (Tibetan New Year) falls on Ash Wednesday, i.e., the first day of Lent.

The Lenten season has deep meaning for those of us who joined Joe and Guin Miller for their annual observance. Every weekday morning at 6:30 a.m. from Ash Wednesday to Good Friday, Joe would read aloud the Tibetan Book of the Great Liberation (his favorite text), and every weekday evening at 6:30 p.m. Guin would read aloud the Diamond Sutra (her favorite text). The SFTS Lodge kept this practice going in tact for many years after the passing of the Millers.

In recent years, we have shifted to Lent Lite, in which we read the Great Liberation at 6:30 a.m. on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday, and alternate readings of the Great Liberation and the Diamond Sutra each Friday evening at 6:30 p.m. throughout Lent and ending on Good Friday. We kicked off this year’s observance at 6:30 a.m. and will continue it with the Diamond Sutra this coming Friday.

To celebrate, we have posted these two wonderful video of Joe reading the Great Liberation in 1991 (he died in 1992) on our new You Tube Channel. One was filmed by Emilio Trampuz in 1989, the other by Charles Falkin 1991. Tashi Delek!


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