Tibetans Prepare to Celebrate New Year

March 1, 2003

Source: Tri-Valley Herald

On March 1, 2003 the Tri-Valley Herald reported that "Tibetans here [in California] and around the world this weekend will be chanting, praying and meditating to rid themselves of negativity for the coming year. Then on Monday they will celebrate the Tibetan New Year... At Alameda's Orgyen Dorje Den, a Tibetan Buddhist Meditation Center in the Nyingma tradition, dozens of people gathered Thursday and Friday for a powerful 'reversal ceremony.' They will do the same today... Spiritual leaders said the ceremonies, held in three-hour blocks each day with breaks, traditionally purify 'obstacles, hindrances and negativity from the preceding year' and prepare the way for a hopeful beginning in the new year... During the ceremonies, the temple is decorated with candles and incense, colorful prayer flags and 'stupas' -- decorative towers packed with tightly rolled spiritual prayers. Books of Tibetan scriptures line one wall. There are paintings and sculptures representative of the 'body of an enlightened form around one room.'"