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Day of Miracles - Monlam Chenmo

Thursday, March 1, (All day) 2018

The two-week long Tibetan Great Prayer Festival, Monlam Chenmo, which began with the Tibetan New Year, culminates in the Day of Miracles, which falls this year on Thursday, March 1.  As a Buddha Holy Day, the karmic effects of virtuous actions performed on this day are multiplied exponentially, according to Lama Zopa Rinpoche. 

Our schedule of events on this auspicious day includes taking the Eight Mahayana Precepts early in the morning, as well as several opportunities during the day for group readings of the Sanghata Sutra, the Golden Light Sutra, or or Diamond Cutter Sutra.

Kadampa Center Schedule of Events

6:00 am  The Eight Mahayana Precepts,  a set of eight vows taken for a period of 24 hours, from sunrise on one day to sunrise the following day. The vows include no killing, stealing, sexual activity, lying, sitting on high beds, taking intoxicants, wearing perfume or jewelry, or eating after noon. 

The first time you take these precepts, it must be from a qualified master. After that, you can take them from your altar. Geshe Gelek will offer precepts if students request it.  If you wish to take precepts for the first time, please register here.

7:15 am A group reading of the Vajra Cutter Sutra will follow the precepts, and then a light breakfast will be served.

12 pm  Group reading of the Golden Light Sutra

5:30 pm  Group reading of the Sanghata Sutra

The Center will be open all day so students can come and do practices, either individually, or as a group.

Our FPMT spiritual director, Lama Zopa Rinpoche, encourages students to take the Eight Mahayana Precepts on holy days.

Other Recommended Practices on Holy Days:

Reading The Golden Light Sutra, Confessions to the 35 Buddhas, or any other Saddhana, Mantra, or “heart practice”
     
Other ways to create merit:

  • To make the day even more powerful dedicate all your positive actions to the benefit of all sentient beings.
  • Be mindful to take advantage of opportunities to practice acts of kindness and generosity towards all sentient beings, including family, friends, strangers, co-workers, “enemies”, and animals.
  • Rejoice in all the positive actions of oneself and others.
  • Rejoice in recognizing and avoiding any occasion to experience irritation, impatience, anger, envy, jealousy, laziness, or any other negative emotion.
  • Purify any negative action of body speech and mind extensively.

 

More about Monlam Chenmo and the Day of Miracles

Monlam Chenmo is a two-week period during which the Buddha performed various miracles. The two weeks of holy days are observed with the Tibetan Great Prayer Festival beginning on Tibetan New Year, and, on the final day - the Day of Miracles - many fesitvals and rituals are held.

The Great Prayer Festival was established in Tibet in 1409 by Lama Tsongkhapa to commemorate Shakyamuni Buddha’s performance of miracles at Shravasti. According to the Sutra of the Wise and Foolish, six great Hindu teachers, representing the six great schools of Hinduism, challenged Shakyamuni Buddha to a competition of miracles. Typically the Buddha purposely avoided displays of powers because people are easily interested in mundane powers instead of practicing Dharma. However, through his clairovoyance, he understood they wouldn’t be subdued unless he performed the miracles, so he outdid them for 15 days, and the six scholars converted to Buddhism. The main purpose of the Great Prayer Festival is to pray for the long life of all the holy Gurus of all traditions, for the survival and spreading of the dharma in the minds of all sentient beings, and for world peace.

The Day of Miracles is an auspicious day for prayer and practice, as the karmic results of positive actions are multiplied exponentially. Students are encouraged to devote some special time to engage in positive actions, and heart practices; to rejoice in the positive actions of others throughout the world on this day, and to dedicate the merit to the benefit and eventual enlightenment of all sentient beings.