Losar Tashi Delek and Happy New Year!
The Chinese and Tibetan New Year coincided this year and friends and fellow monks are celebrating the year of the Fire Monkey all around the world.
In the Chinese traditions this means travelling for family reunions and in the Tibet communities it is the start of a month of festivals and prayers. In Tibetan monasteries they are enjoying a few days of holiday followed by special pujas to set up the following year.
This is the year of the Monkey, which is playful and hard to pin down. In Buddhism we often talk about the ‘monkey mind’ – the tendency for the mind to flit between one idea and another and the difficulty of focussing on the here and now in a meaningful way. Science has started to discover good reasons why we should try mindfulness meditation to overcome mental and physical challenges and the research is well established.
The stories of the Monkey King are beloved in the Tibetan and Chinese Buddhist traditions. Monkey, Pigsy and Sandy’s adventures as they lead the monk Tripitaka to India to receive the Mahayana teachings from Lord Buddha are wonderful stories loved by youngsters and adults alike. It always seems to be King Monkey who gets them out of their various scrapes but only when his actions are controlled by the wise young monk.
Maybe this year is one in which it would be good to give mindfulness meditation a try in order to overcome the Monkey nature that will prevail.
It should be an especially good year if you were born in the year of the Monkey and also for Dragons and Rats. Don’t expect a good year if you were born in the year of the Tiger.
You can check here to find your animal sign and your Gua number in my blog – ‘Time to get a good direction for your life’ (check the tables to get your directions).
As I have often mentioned, it is very important to know your Gua number because it determines your lucky and unlucky directions. These Feng Shui directions are yours for life and are always very useful and powerful. However, there are yearly changes that you have to be aware of otherwise you may not realise that one or two of your good directions have become bad for one year.
There are three negative yearly influences to watch out for every year – the Grand Duke, the Three Killings and the Five Yellows:
The Grand Duke is a negative yearly influence that you should not sit facing even if it is usually a good direction for you. This year it is in the southwest so avoid facing this direction at all this year. To be precise, it is in the west-southwest in the 15 degrees between 233 and 247, but it is probably easier to avoid the whole of the southwest, as you did last year. Don’t confront the Grand Duke so do not sit facing him. It may also be advisable to not sleep with the top of your head towards the Grand Duke. And, do not start renovations in the southwest. It is ok to start elsewhere and then you can continue to the southwest area later in your renovations.
The Three Killings is another negative influence that affects your directions. With this one, it is important not to sit with your back to it, otherwise there is a danger of negative criticism and being undermined. This has gone round 90 degrees, to the south. So this year do not sit facing north.
Lastly, the Five Yellows is a negative influence that affects a particular location in your home and workplace, rather than a direction. This year the northeast is afflicted. It can cause sickness and general misfortune so it is better to avoid spending a lot of time in this location in your place. However, it can be controlled by hanging a wind chime with six hollow metal tubes in the area. This is especially important if your bedroom is located in the northeast sector and you cannot move to another bedroom for the year. It is also very important to hang the wind chime close to your front door if it is located in the northeast of your home. Wind chimes do not have to make a sound in order to be effective. It is the presence of the metal tubes that helps to suck up the negative earth element influence associated with the Five Yellows. The most likely problems would be for the luck of education and knowledge , especially the youngest son.
The northeast is also associated with the fortunes of young men and in general we are in a good twenty year period for young men, right up until 2024. However, this year is not good and so whereas it was easy to predict success for Barack Obama in the last two presidential elections the same may not be true for the youngest male candidate this time around, Marco Rubio, whose problems seemed to have started immediately on the movement of the five yellows to the northeast at the beginning of the new year on February 9th.
The very best way to avoid bad luck is to always perform good actions with the best possible intentions. This creates the seeds of good fortune. Then when negative conditions arise, like the ones I just outlined, you are much less likely to experience negative results. Implementing the cures I have suggested makes it even more unlikely that bad things will happen.
It is not always easy to implement these Feng Shui recommendations. Just do your best and forget about it afterwards. The great Buddhist saint, Shantideva said, ‘Worry doesn’t help. If there is something you can do, do it, and then there is no need to worry. If there is nothing you can do, why worry?
So please enjoy life with a good heart, Always work on the balance between mind, body and your environment. Do your best to help others and at least try not to harm them. That way the Year of the Monkey will take care of itself and you.