With the holiday season upon us, we find ourselves reflecting on this past year and those who have generously helped to shape and support Lion’s Roar programs and sangha!
During our first FULL year at Do Nga Dargey Temple in East Sacramento, we had a very busy schedule between fixing up the Temple, constructing a new altar generously donated by sangha members, welcoming new refuge members, introducing new practices and receiving visiting teachers.
In January and April we hosted a screening and Q&A for Tsering Dhonhup’s film Mystic Mountain at the Guild Theatre and at Lion’s Roar. It was incredible to hear directly from the filmmaker on his storytelling experience.
In February, Geshe Damchoe and the Sacramento Mongolian Community Association hosted an incredibly festive and delicious Losar New Year’s Celebration for Lion’s Roar’s international sangha to mark the year of the Fire Monkey.
It was around this time that our Spiritual Director Lama Jinpa really started to expand the Dharma offerings. February saw the inclusion of Kirtan (singing Dharma) with the group Journey to Awaken. Sangha member Ellen Wolfe started offering a Right Livelihood Series on developing more compassion in our daily lives. Bryan Olson introduced a monthly Vajrasattva practice to continue the teachings from Khenchen Rinpoche’s initiation last November. Not only that, members have seen the growth of weekly meditation practices and yoga sessions thanks to Sandi Russi and Lion’s Roar practice leaders. Our schedule truly shows the amazing variety and deep level of practice that represents our community.
Then in July, the Sera Jey Monks blessed us with a Medicine Buddha Mandala. The mandala was created next to our brand new altar and remained there for two months, not only offering the opportunity to enrich our practice and meditations but also allowing the community to visit and see the mandala in person.
October was a busy month for us. Sera Jey monks again returned to complete the mandala dissolution ceremony and a week later we were honored to have Geshe Sangye, abbot of Sera Jey Monastery, visit and give teachings on discovering our Buddha nature. In October we also held a special Achala practice and knife demonstration from Qigong Master Robert Nakashima to mark the official naming of Inner Circle Dojo.
We’re wrapping up 2016 with a special holiday celebration for Lama Tsong Khapa day – Holiday Festival of Lights, with sacred songs and chants, Christmas carols and a special practice honoring Lama Tsong Khapa, the founder of our lineage.
Yes, it’s been quite a year! And no doubt we at Lion’s Roar are looking forward to 2017. Lama Jinpa and Geshe Damchoe have a great deal more in store for us beginning in January with the start of monthly day-long meditation workshops – Becoming Buddha.
We hope that 2016 has been just as memorable and inspiring for you, your Dharma practice and your loved ones. We look forward to continuing to grow with you in the years to come. We can’t adequately express our gratitude for your practice and support during the year, and of course your ongoing generosity is deeply appreciated.
Wishing you a Joyful andBlessed New Year!
Spiritual Director, Lion’s Roar Dharma Center