The New Year


Anyone that I talk to agrees that this past winter has been an exceptionally long one.   Coming out of a second record breaking cold spell where freezing temperatures hit sea level in February is a telltale sign.   I can’t help but think only days before Losar or Tibetan New Year, how life goes on and on and then some and how life’s events work in strange ways.   For instance, wanting yet unable to find a dharma study group or talk to attend lately, I see a new flyer up at Real Foods:   Orgyen Chowang Rinpoche to speak at Sausalito Yoga on February 27 at 2:00PM.  I’ve either done something very right or very wrong because that talk is as close to me as it can get, four blocks away from my house.  The topic for this upcoming inspirational talk?   Precious life!

 This year is the year of the white metal rabbit.   The rabbit mends the fences of the last year’s tiger’s destruction.  

 Predictions say:  March 5, 2001, the year of the Yin Metal Rabbit should give most of us an opportunity to pause and catch our breath after a hectic 2010. It’s will be a time for peacemakers to shine. But, it will also have a metallic edge to it. From time to time aggressiveness will suddenly materialize and disrupt the peace. For those who revel in a slow pace, however, it promises to be a most enjoyable time.

 Rinpoche is talking about how we must not dwell on the clouds, that clouds are temporary, we must think about sunshine.  We are fortunate to be alive.  It’s a waste of time to think negative thoughts. Go towards the sun!

 Myself, I am a green wood horse, “exciting and extroverted, vivid and animated”.   Horse people are extemporaneous and quick-witted. They are quite intelligent and use their practicality to their advantage in their business and personal lives. Their sharpness makes them quick to pick up new skills and are able to handle many tasks at one time.  Horses are trustworthy, friendly and open-minded. They are good friends to have and will always be honest with you.

 We must have clear mind, think positively.   If we calm the mind goodness comes, and from this goodness compassion arises.   If we have a calm mind we are at peace.  This is the best gift that we can share with others, compassion and peace.  Sunshine.

 The year of the Metal Rabbit promises to bring some much needed peace and tranquility. If you are like most people, you probably feel like you were on a roller coaster in 2010, the year of the Tiger. That will generally not be the case in 2011, as the Rabbit is everything the Tiger is not.  Thanks to the Rabbit, this is a Yin Metal year, so steel may be too strong a word. There could be some aggressiveness when it comes to fighting for a cause, but it is not likely to be a dominant attitude. Yin Metal is also more thoughtful in contrast to its Yang counterpart that often pushes ahead without thinking. And, under the Rabbit’s influence, there is more empathy and sensitivity with only the occasional lapse.

 This is the nature of mind.  We all want peace and calm mind is necessary to rest in natural mind.  Thoughts must be stilled.  We must think of others, give kindness and be good to ourselves as well so that we may be nice to others.  Compassion and kindness come from a still mind.

 People born in the Year of the Horse make good educators, pilots, journalists and tour operators and enjoy traveling. They like to take off spontaneously. Horses like to take active vacations, preferring to camp, ski and hike rather than to sit on the beach in the sun all day. Their getaways usually include a cultural event such as a musical or a festival, as Horses like to be entertained.

 The goal is to be free from negative thoughts and unhappiness and to bring joy, tranquility, and enlightenment into every area of our lives.  External happiness is conditional but internal peace is forever.  Everyone wants to be happy. I wish happiness to everyone, true happiness and peace.

Astrological predictions and simple words are too coincidental to be ignored, yet easy to forget.  I confide to you that it is much easier for me to travel to faraway lands than it is for me to travel here at home.  Perhaps this is true for many of us for down the road there is intrigue, serendipity.   I remember once telling an elderly man Indian man a story about my hometown, Peoria, how it was not a very good place compared to other cities in the US.  He looked at me intently and replied,    “Places are fine, Peoria is fine.  Maybe you were not so good in that place”.

 Happy New Year of the White Metal Rabbit, I wish you happiness and peace.