A Joyful and Unusual Ending for Yarne

Not only did we have a superb Lhasang to end our 2024 Yarne retreat, but it also coincided with a full solar eclipse. Our location was in the 100% zone — it was quite a show! Photos are by Peter Medlock and Trinkar Ötso.

Preparing for a good smokey Lhasang.

A lhasang is a broad invocation that calls upon all the various ‘‘good spirits’’ and well-intentioned deities, as well as upon the various buddhas, bodhisattvas, protectors, and departed teachers of the buddhadharma. 

We do this ritual on days like the Lunar New Year, Losar, and on Gagye, the day of lifting the restrictions of the Yarne retreat.

You can read more about this traditional Tibetan ritual in this excerpt from Reggie Ray’s book, Indestructible Truth, (p57) in the section called “Anatomy of a Tibetan Common Ritual: The Lhasang”

Material substances are offered along with those conceived with the imagination. In this case, the substances include a grain cake made of barley flour mixed with butter, yogurt, milk, sugar, honey, sometimes maple syrup, and small pieces of brocade. This is offered with tea and amrita.

The chopin offering substances to the smokey fire after the initial blessing.

Musical instruments are played to accompany the chant.

At the conclusion of the chant, the group circumambulates the fire with banners shouting the Warrior’s cry to rouse the sense of uplifted energy and invite the dralas.



And then we watched for the magic to happen.

A fascinating change in lighting, the water and wind became unusually calm. In the true sense of the word, awesome.

Using a Hasselblad medium format camera with special filters Peter Medlock captured amazing photos of the progression of the eclipse.

Assimilating the experience – the joy of fulfilling the Yarne retreat, the companionship of the sangha, the richness of Ani Pema’s teachings, and the powerful convergence of this very rare environmental alignment.