Tenzing Wangyal Rimpoche visiting
On Saturday May 5, 2012, we celebrated Buddha’s 2556th Birthday
and His Enlightenment & Parinirvana
Buddha’s Birthday is celebrated on this Full Moon Day in the Newar and Southeast Asian traditions f
riends arrived for chanting and dancing,observing/meditating…and eating.
We began with the traditional Newar ritual done on this day of “Buddha Jayanti” which includes chanting the Namasamgiti (a form of Manjushri) in Sanskrit while lighting 108 butter lamps.
Following the Namasamgiti, we danced the Refuge Prayer Dance 108 times.
Those who knew the dance performed surrounding 108 illuminating butter lamps; and those who observed did know the song and dance by the end of it! Many were simply sitting/meditating.
Afterward, a traditional style Newah kheer (rice pudding) and other dishes was served.
It was a wonderful celebration together!
PAST NEWSLETTERS: (Summer 2010) Dear Friends near and afar,
Things have been settling in here at the vihara. With the daily ritual performed morning and evening without fail, more classes and special events, and the inspiration of the community, we feel the temple and vihara are fulfilling its purpose. This month we had an inspiring weekend with Prema Dasara, dancing the 21 Taras. She prefaced the dances with clear motivating Dharma talks. Buddha‘s birth and enlightenment day was last month which we celebrated by doing the Refuge Prayer dance 108 times followed by traditional Newar style rice pudding and ‘achaar’. In April I did my first solo performance in the temple to reenact my many years of solo travel with ’10 deities in a suitcase and a CD’, my quick-change-artist performances, but this time it was in my own temple with a singer and Dance Mandal community.
Here is information from events this past summer:
A SLIDE PRESENTATION &
FRIDAY,JUNE 25th, 7pm in the Nritya Mandala temple
Drawing from his extensive research and fieldwork during the renovation of the Swayambhu Stupa- a most ancient and holy shrine in the mandala of the Kathmandu Valleyas well as a World Heritage Site- special guest speaker Alex von Rospatt* will give a talk and slide presentation on the stupa as a representation of Buddhahood. The talk includes how the 5 Buddhas collectively embody this principal in the expanded Dharmadatu Mandala and through images of the people and places of the Valley he demonstrates the connection to their daily lives.
Following a tea break, the mandala theme will be reflected in the Dance Mandal student dance performance. Guest dancer Manju von Rospatt, visiting from Berkeley and Alex’s 8 year old daughter, has studied Charya Dance with Dance Mandal both in the Kathmandu Valley and in Portland. She will perform a solo dance. A newly performed group dance with Prajwal will be the one-eyed, one-toothed, one taste protectress Eka Jati. Other dances will include the Dakinis, Taras and Buddhas of the Nepala Mandala. Singer Rik Masterson will accompany the dances.
*Alexander von Rospatt is a Newar Buddhist scholar and is Chair of the South and Southeast Asian Studies Department of UC Berkeley. He specializes in the doctrinal history of Indian Buddhism and in Newar Buddhism, the only Indic Mahayana and Vajrayana tradition that continues in its original South Asian setting, in the Kathmandu Valley, right to the present. His first book sets forth the development and early history of the Buddhist doctrine of momentariness. A new book manuscript deals with the periodic renovations of the Svayambhu Stupa from which he reconstructs the ritual
history of these renovations and their social contexts .
MORNING RITUAL and OPEN MEDITATION– The traditional morning ritual along with meditation is performed daily- weekdays 8am-9am, and Sat. & Sun. 9am-10am. You are welcome to come observe and do your own meditation and may also eventually learn the ritual. Tea is offered afterwards on most days. Enter the front gate at anytime during the hour, and first circumambulate the temple clockwise, then end up again at the temple’s side door to enter.
SUNDAYS, June 27, July 25, August 29:
MUDRA YOGA WORKSHOPS– 10am-1pm –
The workshops emphasize spiritual yoga
through subtle fluidity of movement, breath, and stillness. Mudra yoga leads to experience and understanding of the internal energies of our subtle bodies
and of our own individual mudras, culminating in realization of Mahamudra (highest realization). Prajwal guides participants with simple movement, gestures and positions from his Buddhist lineage of deity yoga. No experience necessary. Suggested donation $25.[no one turned away for lack of funds] Register by calling 503-233-3703
or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
THURSDAYS, June 3- July 8:
AVALOKITESHVARA DANCE– 7pm. 6 consecutive Thursdays. Avalokiteshvara, also known as Chenresig or the female Kuan Yin, is the embodiment of universal compassion and is the softest, gentlest, and most fluid of bodhisattva dances represented in the Charya Nritya tradition. Study Avalokiteshvara’s attributes, energy, form, song, gestures, movement and complete dance from the Newar sacred dance tradition of the Buddhist priests of Nepal. This is an ancient form of deity yoga meditation for physical transformation, refinement of emotions, and spiritual awareness. Taught by lineage holder, Prajwal Vajracharya, this complete dance of Avalokiteshvara is for anyone of any physical capability. Suggested donation $70 [no one turned away for lack of funds] for the series. You may join at anytime.
Coming in July: The Abundance of Vasundhara- Golden Vasundhara is the Mother Earth Goddess of prosperity, fertility, enrichment, and wisdom and is venerated in Indian, Tibetan and Newar traditions. Helen will guide participants in the full dance, revealing Vasundhara’s continuous shower of blessings and her abundant nature in each of us. 6 week series.
Regular movement classes meet on Mondays and Fridays.
Please come and visit, join us for an event, class or sip some tea from my collection.
from Prajwal, Helen and All from Dance Mandal
Nritya Mandala Mahavihara
email@example.com Hi Dear Friends, As you know we have finished the temple. The temple, courtyard and house together is the Nritya Mandala Vihara which has turned into a mahavihara [or great vihara/ mother vihara] as determined by the elder priest from Nepal, Yagyaman Pati Bajracharya, since it is the first in the country. He was here to perform the consecration with Prajwal along with Sugat Bajracharya, a priest who was also visiting from Nepal. We had altogether six days of ritual, ending with a big performance by the students here and with an overflow of observers. It was such a joy to dance in the newly consecrated space and to be doing our sacred temple dance in our ‘home temple’ for the first time. Even the senior priest,Yagnyaman, demonstrated the older way of performing Charya dance, something we never thought we would see here in the US. Each day was wonderfully rich and transformed Nritya Mandala Mahavihara into a truly empowered space. We had a lovely time with the visiting priests and learned a lot from them. Now we are performing the daily ritual morning and evening just like it is done in the Kathmandu Valley. See the links for consecration pictures and details. http://news.northwestdharma.org/09OctNovDec/1stNepBudTemNA.htm [article and captioned photos] http://picasaweb.google.com/suvashakya [photos of the procession day and the last ritual day] http://picasaweb.google.com/dancemandal [click on ‘my photos’ and then the 2 consecration selections for each ritual day and dance] We are so grateful to all those who had helped in the consecration preparation- westerners and Newar together; to all the students who practiced so hard and helped along the way; to all those who attended- enhancing the spirit of the events; and in particular, to Laxman Shakya from Seattle who so generously offered his continuous service of Newar homecooking and chai to keep all participants and observers well-fed, healthy and happy for all meals and snacks throughout the entire week. What a job that was! This year at the vihara we are looking forward to:
- New Year Purification Ritual – Jan 1st– 3pm to 6pm- you are all invited. Do call or email for reservations at least a few days before. (There are some space limitations and also each individual mandala we need to prepare ahead.)
- Mudra Yoga class series– Saturdays, Jan. 8 to Jan. 30, 10-11:30am Flyer,
- Charya Giti class 1x/a month to sing the songs of the deities and more, the first Saturday of the month starting in February.
- A series of speakers visiting to talk on aspects of Newar Buddhism and Buddhism in general such as in iconography, ritual, theory, and arts. The first we are planning for the Spring.
- Charya performances each season inside the temple- next one will be end of Feb./early March.
- New introductory dance class begins early February. Contact Helen if you are interested. Other dance classes continue as usual.
- A Newar language class series soon. Anyone interested? – please contact us soon. Also a Sanskrit intensive later in the year.
- The website is going to be redone and will be frequently updated. Visit the new www.dancemandal.com in a few weeks.
This Sunday, Dec.20th, Khenpo Choga Rinpoche is speaking on Bodhicitta at the temple sponsored by his community, from 3-7pm. ——————————————— We bow to all of you for your support in so many ways over the months and years and look forward to deepening roots and expanding tradition through the community’s sincere intention and inspiring activity. Peace and joy to you all!
Prajwal and Helen
and Dance Mandal
1405 SE 40th Ave.
Portland OR 97214