(and I’m not talking “Sopranos” here.)

Pronounced like “Duns,” according to Tibetan lore, the end of the lunar year is considered a tumultuous and dangerous time. The root of the word dön means “doubt,” and essentially refers to mischievous and negative “Ju Ju” floating around – the accumulation of unresolved karma from the previous year. It’s that feeling of pushing a rock up a hill, or trying really hard to finish something, when in fact you are just spinning your wheels. Around here, when we have challenging experiences, we turn it into an adjective – “how was your day dear? – Oh, very dönsy.” In Boulder, döns season usually coincides with Chinook season– when the winds blasts down the front range foothills at up to 100 miles an hour or more. The two tend to go well together.

The döns season is the last ten days of the Tibetan lunar calendar. This starts today – February 7, 2007, and concludes on the Tibetan New Year, or Shambhala Day, Sunday, February 18th, 2007. The energy of the döns is represented by sudden bursts of confusion, passion, aggression and ignorance. During this time, these little demon doubt energies seem to suddenly possess you, so be very mindful of your behavior. Advanced Buddhist practitioners, and Kasung – or protectors of the Dharma, do special ceremonies to appease and disperse the döns. Some folks even choose to go into retreat during this week – to help dispel the effect of the döns for the rest of us, and perhaps to stay out of their way.


“Lhasang” fire purification ceremony in Boulder during Shambhala Week Celebrations


Tara “purifies” Zane by placing him in the smoke of the Juniper Branches at 2006’s Boulder Lhasang (Tara wears “Padma” and Zane wears “Auspicious Coincidences” from Compassionate Knitting.)

It is ill advised to begin any new projects, enter into any major agreements, or do much of anything besides watch the winds blow this week. Knitting is a very good döns activity. Knitting for the benefit of others even better, and Mindfully Knitting for the benefit of all the best. Even though the döns kinda suck (or in Boulder, blow), this time is in fact a gift. This is an entirely contemplative and Buddhist POV – turn it over, and every obstacle is in fact a lesson on the path. Consider what it means to be given time to resolve your unresolved karmic blips. Then, at the end of the Döns Season – on Shambhala Day – we celebrate the beginning of the New Year with a grand, day-long party. So, please take it EASY – and wait until after Shambhala Day to make any big decisions. Be with your family and friends and ring in the Year of the Pig – yup – Pig.

Year of the Pig

photo from the Boulder Shambhala Center Shambhala Day 2007 webpage.