Happy Tibetan New Year!

IMG_8251colourIf you hang out for even a short time with Tibetans, you very quickly become familiar with the phrase "Tashi Delek". It's a salutation but only now am I starting to appreciate the depths of the phrase. In two words it encapsulates the entire teachings of the Buddha and highlights the importance of the Tibetan culture and language for an in depth understanding of buddhist philosophy. Geshe-la unpacked the phrase in another riper talk. Below is an excerpt from my notes. 

Today is the frist day of the Tibetan New Year so we say Losar Tashi Delek! There are several ways to explain the meaning of this phrase, from both a general and tantric point of view. 

In general, we explain the phrase means "may all good qualities ripen in your mind". Good qualities is encapsulated by "Tashi" and refers to both tempral and ultimate happiness. Temporal happiness in the way of good future rebirts and ultimate happiness referring to liberation and enlightenment. As these come from the causes of ethical restraint, the three trainings and bodhicitta respectively, "Tashi Delek" is also a wish for these causes to be generated in the mindstream of others.

The cause for liberation is the three higher trainings of ethical restraint, concentration and wisdom. These trainings exist in other traditions but we refer to them as 'higher trainings' because for buddhist practioners they are to be undertaken with an understaning of the lack of an inherently existent self (selflessness, anatman).

Full enlightenment comes from joining the mind of awakening (bodhicitta) with the wisdom of emptiness. 

From a tantric explanation, the good qualities are the 32 major marks on the body of a buddha, the 60 qualities of buddha's speech and the buddha's completely pacified mind, free of all mistaken views.

The "Delek" from "Tashi Delek" means 'may you enjoy these fruits, or 'may this come to pass'.

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