Special Kagyu Monlam Day 7
4 February 2023
In keeping with the tradition of Kagyu Monlam, on the last day the lamas who have completed the three-year retreat walked in a procession, clad in a white cotton cloth in the tradition of Milarepa, demonstrating their ability to raise their body heat.
Daily, from the very first day of Monlam, hidden from the eyes of spectators, these yogins have been performing the secret practice of tummo (inner heat) and on the seventh day, they practiced from 4-7 am. Meanwhile, starting from 6 a.m. inside the main shrine hall, the Monlam participants chanted the Offerings to the Gurus after completing the Mahayana sojong vows and prayers in Sanskrit.
Behind the residence building, still hidden from the eyes of spectators, the cotton-clad monks emerged at 7 a.m. and dipped their white cotton cloths into a large cauldron of cold water. They then draped the wet cloths around themselves in order to demonstrate their ability to perform ‘tummo’, by producing inner heat to dry them. Steadily, they walked out into the pale morning sun and general view, chanting the Offering to the Gurus.Their path to the temple was lined on both sides by spectators holding white katags. As the white clad monks made their way, they stopped every few steps, and turned to both left and right to face the spectators. and share the blessings. The procession was inspiring in practice for all present, monastic and lay alike.
The procession slowly circumambulated the Bokar Shedra temple and, as they were completing the kora, they passed by the devotees once again on their way into the shrine hall - this time their white cloths were already partially dry.
Once everyone had returned into the shrine hall, the cotton-clad monks were seated in front, and the vast gathering of practitioners continued chanting the Offering to the Gurus. The morning session concluded with a demonstration of debate by the Gunchoe debate winners.
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