Saturday, December 15, 2007

Nine Bad Omens: Ngenpa Gu Dzom

"I walked into the middle of a featureless field,
I shot an arrow into the center of the cloudless sky:
I did not care if it was a good day or a bad day."

Ngenpa Gu Dzom
, or the "Nine Bad Omens" day is the sixth day of the eleventh Tibetan month... tomorrow, as it happens. It starts at noon on Saturday and lasts until noon Sunday.

Here is what Alex Berzin has to say: "During this period, most Tibetans do not try to do any special religious or other positive practices, but instead go on picnics, relax, and play. The history of this custom is that at the time of the Buddha, one person tried to accomplish many positive deeds this day, but nine bad things befell him. Buddha advised that on this date each year in the future, it is best not to try to accomplish much good."

Everybody remembers Nine Bad Omens, but everybody forgets it is immediately followed by Zangpo Chu Dzom, or "Ten Auspicious Omens," which starts on noon Sunday and lasts until noon Monday.

Alex reminds us: "On this day, at the time of the Buddha, ten wonderful things happened to that same person when he continued trying to do what was constructive. This period, then, is considered very favorable for positive projects but, in general, Tibetans also take this time for picnics and games."

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