Gathering as a community to celebrate, feast and enjoy being together is an important aspect of training. Feasting, otherwise known as ganacakra in sanskrit, is a central practice of this tradition.
We meet as a Sangha at various points throught the year at celebration days. These involve teachings from Rigdzin Shikpo, sharing food and drink and making offerings of song, story and music. While not open to the public, these days are generally open to anyone who has been training in some way within the Longchen tradition for a little while, perhaps in a local group or through attending other programmes, and who wishes to strengthen their connection to the community and lineage.
Summer Sangha Celebration Day
This is a feast day and gathering of the Longchen Sangha with teachings on the importance of community and family from Rigdzin Shikpo. This usually takes place in June each year, and students are welcome to invite friends and family as guests.
Refuge & Bodhisattva Vow Day*
Committing oneself to the Buddhist Path (Going for Refuge) and dedicating one’s activities and practice for the benefit of all sentient beings are important steps on the path of Buddhist training. Once a year the Sangha meets to support and celebrate with those who have decided to take those steps. This celebration day usually happens in November each year.
This, the first day in our calendar, is a celebration of the life and liberation of Longchen Rabjam, our ancient lineage and primordial ancestry. This takes place in February each year and is open to students who have furthered their training in Longchen.
*Refuge & Bodhisattva Vow day and Longchenpa Day are by invitation.
Local celebrations and festivities
In addition to these three days where the whole Sangha gathers, local groups also have their own occasional Ganacakras – perhaps to celebrate the end of a course, a short retreat or New Year.