Fresh Start for the New Year: Pacifying the Turmoil of the Mamos:

By Fred Jaben

Shambhala Day – February 24 – marks the end of one year’s cycle and the beginning of a new year. The karmic obscurations and chaos that have accumulated during the year – for us personally and for society in general – are said to manifest most strongly in the period leading up to Shambhala Day, referred to as the Dön Season (February 13 – 22).

During this season, to dispel the effects of negative karmic build-up – which manifest unexpectedly and perhaps in extreme forms – we practitioners are advised to heighten our practice and to be especially mindful in our life activities and choices. As a community, our tradition urges that during this period we gather and practice together the traditional liturgy, “Pacifying the Turmoil of the Mamos.”

“Mamo is the basic feminine principle that governs the whole universe. The universe is conquered by the feminine principle whether or not we like it.”

Vidyadhara Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche

Mamos are dharma protectors, a form of enlightened feminine energy which if related to properly can transmute and overcome environmental negativity. If ignored or denied, they manifest outwardly as discord, opposition, desires, and accidents; inwardly as emotional fixation, sickness and unbalanced energy; and secretly as fixed beliefs about ourselves and reality. Plague, famine and war are potential extreme manifestations on a societal level.

Relating properly to the Mamos, to this form of energy, requires attention to our conduct, openness to our fundamental nature (basic goodness), and working with our personal energies and to the details of our lives. Additionally, we can attune ourselves to the lineage blessing in order to repair the results of any spiritual obscurations and violation of vows, and to restore our commitment, ensuring the integrity of our practice. A powerful way to attune and to relate properly is by practicing “Pacifying the Turmoil of the Mamos.”

Through the communal practice of “Pacifying the Turmoil of the Mamos” – offerings, appeasements, acknowledging the power of the mamos, and asking forgiveness – its effects increase in potency, so that they more strongly radiate – extending to our families, our nation, and to human society in general. It is taught that the more of us that participate, the greater the benefit.

Please accept a warm invitation to engage with your sister and brother warriors in the power and generosity of this age-old practice, and in the aspiration that by doing so our confidence in basic goodness grows, and our contribution to a good human society increases.

The Shambhala Meditation Center of Denver will host “Pacifying the Turmoil of the Mamos” practice every evening beginning Thursday, February 13th through Saturday, February 22nd. Learn more by clicking here.

Source material for this article included: “The Eight-Deity Mandala,” Vol. 3 of The Profound Treasury of the Ocean of Dharma, Chögyam Trungpa; “Dakini’s Warm Breath,” Judith Simmer-Brown; “Protector Principle” and “On the Mamos, the Dharmapala Principle and Mahakali Vetali,” Dorje Loppon Dorje.

Fred Jaben is the Head of Meditation Instructors and Shambhala Guides at the Shambhala Meditation Center of Denver, and served for many years as the Center’s director.