In light of current world events, Today's lesson in cross cultural understating, not your own, comes from my recent visit to a Lama Dance in the Himalayan village of Tukuche, Mustang, Nepal with our group from Restoration Works International.
The Lama Dance is an unique Tibetan tradition and one of the methods used to teach basic principles of living life. According to Buddhism, there are six realms or states of living beings: god, demigod, human, animal, hungry ghosts, and hell. These states are achieved by liberation through circling births after deaths known as Samsara. Ignorance, Attachment and Anger are defined as the root causes of Samsara and are named as the Three Poisons of Trouble that prevent us from becoming liberated beings
Those who are able to free themselves from Samsara are defined as liberated beings, or Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. Only those who have gained liberation from Samsara can show the path of liberation to all sentient beings.
The Lama Dance introduces the audience to beings from these other other unearthly realms. The dancers wear masks which represent the these beings. Some masks are peaceful and smiling, whereas others are angry and frightening. This is introduces people to beings they will encounter after death, so they can be better prepare to cycle into the next higher realm of being.
Good luck my friends.
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