Torma, Mamos, Maras and Dons, Oh My!

with Office of Culture Delegate Susanne Keniley

January 24th

Date details +

    Mamo chants are practiced daily for ten days before Shambhala Day marking the end of the lunar calendar and the beginning of the next.  Mamos are based on the feminine dakini principle and are earthly dakinis, the unenlightened aspect of this principle.  (There are Wisdom dakini’s as well.) These Mamos are closely related to the Maras who tempted Buddha under the bodhi tree.  

    “Mamos” can cause great chaos and obstacles during this transition time known as the “Dön season” (pronounce the “o” like the “ou” in could).  It is a time when various mishaps, illnesses and confusion arise, when we are most vulnerable to these obstacles and negativity. Döns could take the form of sudden fits of anger, making bad decisions, unexpected neurotic upheavals, car problems, colds or flu.

    Mamo chants invoke feminine protectors to pacify this chaos.  If there was ever a time when we need to dispel the maras and pacify the Mamos, this is it.

    A torma is offered during this time.  A torma is an offering made of butter and roasted barley, a uniquely Tibetan concept.   The Mamo torma has a unique upper thread cross or ‘mara catcher’ – it very much resembles a dream catcher.  It’s purpose is to magnetize, attract, stun and hold the obstructing spirits or accumulated Döns.  Basically it collects the karmic baggage from the old year.

    Join together on this evening, the eve of the ‘Dön season’ to make your very own ‘mara catcher’.   You can take it home for your own shrine or offer it on the Center’s Mamo shrine January 25-February 3.  After that all Mamo tormas and catchers are destroyed – offering the obstructing spirits, accumulated Döns, chaos and negativity of the year


    Material fee $10 or Patron price $15.  Generosity applies.

     PLEASE REGISTER so enough supplies will be available.

    Bring a mug or heavy cup filled with dirt or sand.  All welcome.