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Alexandria Barnes
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Milarepa Day

March 8, 2020

Milarepa Day falls on Sunday, March 8th this year.

Milarepa Day is a day of practice remembering his parinirvana, his death and enlightenment.  Why is Milarepa so important? Mostly because he travelled the entire path, in one lifetime, from a murderer to complete enlightenment (!),  so he provides a moving example of the power of the teachings when they meet with our exertion and devotion. We actually do a special practice invoking Milarepa as the way of opening and closing the day.

The main substance of Milarepa Day is the chanting of portions of The Rain of Wisdom.  This is Trungpa Rinpoche’s translation of a collection of “the songs of realization” of the masters of his own (and our own) lineage, the Kagyu Buddhist lineage of Tibet.  In the foreword to this translation, he speaks of how moved he was as a child and throughout his life by these songs, and tells us:

“In these songs there are life examples to inspire our devotion.  There are songs which help us understand the cause and effect of karma and so illuminate the path to liberation.  There are songs which give instruction in relative bodhicitta, so that we can realize the immediacy of our connection to the dharma.  Some are songs of mahamudra and transmit how we can actually join together bliss and emptiness. Other songs show the realization of Buddha in the palm of our hand. These songs should be regarded as the best of the butter which has been churned from the ocean of milk of the Buddha’s teachings.  They are not ordinary poetry. The reason we refer to them as songs is because they are based on the melody of circumstance, and on meditative experience. They are cosmic onomatopoeia, the best expression of sanity.”

The practice day is divided into 4 sessions.  You can do the whole day, from 8:30 to 5, or just one session.  For those doing the whole day, there will be morning and afternoon tea breaks as well as a lunch break. Please use this sign up sheet to fill in the time you are able to read Rain of Wisdom. If you have any  questions, please reach out to: [email protected]

Donations welcome.

8:30am – 10:45 am  Morning Session

11 am – 12:30 pm  Late Morning Session

12:30 – 1:30 pm Lunch

1:30 – 3:30 pm Afternoon Session

3:45 – 5:00 pm Closing Session