Tet is the Lunar New Year for the Vietnamese community. Our family is very close to the Vietnamese because our Teacher, Thich Nhat Hanh, is Vietnamese. We came to Deer Park Monastery in Escondido to celebrate Tet with out brothers and sisters.
Dragon and lion dances. Firecrackers. Drumming. Laughter. Lisi (red envelopes with money). Generosity.
Today is the second day of the new year. It is the only day in the year that lay people (non-monastic) may visit the quarters of the monks and nuns. What joy!
As we travel from room to room, carrying our glasses, we share tea, cider, snacks, and songs. Interspersed with visits by drums and dragon for us to offer up oranges and snacks to the beast.
The monastics live in simple quarters. Some sleep on the floor, others on thin mats. A few books, some clothes, and an altar are usually in each room. They share their space and their tea.
It is a lesson in simplicity. It is a lesson in friendship. It is a lesson in generosity.
May your tiger year be healthy and may your life be long.
(posting from iPhone; links and pix may arrive later)