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This is the most important time of the Tibetan Buddhist year, the 4th month of the lunar calendar. Saga is the name of the most visible star during the month and Dawa means month. It is during this special time that we celebrate the Buddha Shakyamuni’s birth, enlightenment and parinirvana.

During these days the merits of all of our positive, virtuous actions of body, speech and mind are greatly multiplied. This is also a time when any non-virtuous thoughts, words and actions generate much negative karma.

In 2019, Saga Dawa runs from June 4 to July 2. The 15th day of this lunar month, Monday, June 17, is known as Saga Dawa Duchen which means “great occasion”. This is the single most important and auspicious day in all of Tibetan Buddhism where the merit of our positive karmic actions are multiplied 100,000 times. MDC will celebrate this day with an Amitabha tsok offering beginning at 6:30 pm.

A beneficial opportunity during this special month might be the motivation for all of us to renew or re-energize our practice. During this time, one might do such practices as committing to reading a Buddhist book on a topic you have wanted to explore in more depth, spending a bit more time each day on your meditation cushion, and trying ways in which you can express more kindness and compassion for all beings around you. Specific activities that create much merit during this month include: visiting a local temple (such as MDC), making a generous donation offering, and performing volunteer services for the Manjushri Dharma Center or another organization of your choice.

Stepping up your activities by creating a more structured practice period for yourself during this month will result in the creation of great merit, benefiting yourself and others. Please don’t miss this opportunity to advance your practice during the most auspicious month of the entire Tibetan year. And we hope to see you at the Saga Dawa Duchen celebration on June 17.

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