Mamo Chants

with Catherine Yates

February 13th—February 22nd

Date details +
    Room: Main Shrine Room

    Don Season and the Mamo Chants

    February 24, 2019 is the beginning of a new Tibetan year, the year of the Iron Mouse. We celebrate Shambhala Day (Losar) on first day of the Tibetan year.

    The last days at the end of the year are said to be characterized by a propensity to lose one’s mindfulness, resulting in more accidents and mishaps than usual. Because of these moments where we lose mindfulness, or attacks of the "dons," we can act in ways that are not kind to ourselves and others.

    The Don Season

    The period of ten days preceding Shambhala Day (not including February 23, which is considered a neutral day) is referred to as the “don season,” because losses of mindfulness may be more common. This is a time during which we try to not begin any major undertakings, such as extensive travel or life changes. In the don season, we increase our practice.

    Pacifying the Turmoil of the Mamos

    It has been customary in our sangha to recite a chant called “Pacifying the Turmoil of the Mamos” in order to pacify the karmic causes of chaos accumulated through the year due to unmindful acts. 

    “When children do not listen to their parent’s words,
    An evil time, when relatives quarrel,
    When people dress sloppily in clothes of rags,
    Eating bad, cheap food,
    When there are family feuds and civil wars,
    These provoke the black mamos’ wrath,
    And various women fill a thousand realms,
    Sending sickness upon humans and beasts.
    The sky is thick with purple clouds of sickness.
    They incite cosmic warfare.
    They destroy by causing the age of weaponry.
    Suddenly, they strike people with fatal ulcerous sores.”

    It is the dons that cause us to lose mindfulness, leading to our confusion. We want to banish the dons by beseaching the mamos to help reduce our confusion. If not convinced, they visit us with with their wrath, with chaos. In this way, they are protectors.

    From the Shambhala Office of Practice and Education, “Remembering that the protectors, or dharmapalas, as well as deities altogether, are nothing else than projections of the richness of our own minds, by supplicating them, we are in fact rousing confidence in our own buddha nature. The function of the dharmapalas, ‘protectors of the truth,’ is to protect us from deceptions and sidetracks on the path, to detect and clear away any obstacles to fully awakening in the phenomenal world.

    Please join us for the practice of mamo chants every evening at 6:30 PM from February 13 through February 22. All are welcome.