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Rigden Abhisheka Log

The Rigden Abhisheka took place in Halifax during the first week of March 2006. Here's a weblog of events and impessions.


Out of a total of 326 participants, there were 270 first timers, and 56 who already received the RA last summer. Only 50 "came from away" (as we say in Nova Scotia), including visitors from England, Denmark, Ireland, France, the US, and other parts of Canada. We don't have any stats for this, but the average age in the room was on the far northern coast of middle-aged. I mean, there were a few young faces, but not many.

5 March:

The Sakyong stands for the Shambhala Anthem

As the ceremonies come to an end with feasting and singing, Richard Reoch reflects on the coming together of teachings, students, time, place and teacher.

Click on the photo to listen.

President of Shambhala International, Richard Reoch, being interviewed by Chronicles field correspondent.

4 March:
Working on the details

As is probably the case with any ceremony, the magic of an abhisheka is in the detail. The Rigden Abhisheka requires a host of ritual objects and implements, all of which were found or assembled with energy and care — right up to the last minute.

To purchase Deborah's exquisitely crafted shrine and practice accessories, visit Brocade.

Today, less than two hours before the abhisheka, legendary sangha seamstress, Deborah Luscomb, was in her studio making a brocade parasol that had to be ready in time. While she cheerfully measured, cut, and sewed, she also found time and presence of mind to talk with me about what she was doing, and to recall a few of her many sewing projects over the past thirty years.

Listen to our conversation.

The finished parasol

3 March:

Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche speaking to the participants today
Photo by Marvin Moore

More conversations in the hall.

To listen, just click on their photos.

Wendy Fridman

Hudson Shotwell

Pam Gaines

David Nichtern

Sharon Hoagland

To listen, just click on their photos.

2 March:
Conversations in the hall.

To listen, just click on their photos.

David Whitehorn

Cathy Jones

Jan Watson

Jean Mustain

Kyla Neville

Ethan Neville

To listen, just click on their photos.

1 March:
John Sell on yesterday's I Ching reading.

Sakyong Mipham throws the coins, while Emily Sell records the lines.
photograph by Ben Fong

The I Ching has been thrown for the community every Shambhala Day since the late 1970s. In the early years, it was thrown by the Druk Sakyong. For many years now, Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche has thrown the coins after his Shambhala Day address. This year's I Ching was Mountain (#52), changing to Preponderance of the Small (#62).

What does it mean? I invited local I Ching expert, John Sell, to give us his opinion. Here's what John had to say. (Click on the radio below to listen.)

John Sell talks about the reading.

28 February:
Cheerful Shambhala Day!

Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche delivers the Shambhala Day address at the McInnes Room at Dalhousie University, Halifax, 28 February 2006

Shambhala Day in Halifax

For the early risers, Shambhala Day started at dawn with Werma Sadhana and Sadhana of Mahamudra at the Shambhala Centre. For the rest of us, the Sakyong's address at the McInnes Room, which is all decked out for the Rigden Abhisheka, was our Shambhala Day wake-up call. The Sakyong's address covers a lot of ground with a strong emphasis on appreciation -- that we should appreciate what we have, and who we are. You can hear it by clicking on the radio below. Sorry, the sound quality isn't great, but I think you can hear what he's saying.

Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche's Shambhala Day Address,
for the year of the Fire Dog, 28 February 2006

Thank you to Richard Reoch and David Brown for permission to record and present this talk.

In the evening Marty Janowitz spoke to the Kalapa Society as he has many times before. In a sense it was like listening to a classical recital. You know the piece of music and you've heard the artist's interpretation, but somehow the performance is fresh and there's a certain delight in listening to the subtleties of phrasing, rhythm and pitch. Marty did a great job, once again.

Now, after a full day of deleg gatherings, talks, and website maintenance -- it's definitely time for sleep. Tomorrow starts early with ngöndro lung and practice. More to follow....

27 February:
The Rigden Abhisheka comes to Halifax

After weeks of preparation and anticipation, Halifax is ready to host the Rigden Abhisheka. A note to people coming from away, the weather here is .....what's the word? It's COLD! Until now, this has been one of the warmest winters on record, but tonight (Shambhala Day Eve) it's something like 30 below out there and the winds are howling. So if you're flying in from wherever, brace yourself for that first blast of arctic air when you leave the airport. It's not always like this. Honest.

For the rest of the week, this page will be devoted to news, photographs, and interviews from the Abhisheka. Please check back.

Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche's throne stands ready.

© 2005 The Chronicle Project