Welcome to 2016. Even as the Western calendar rolls over, the Tibetan year continues for a little while more. Dhagpo’s fortieth anniversary carries on up through Losar [Tibetan New Year], this coming February. We closed out 2015 with Jigme Rinpoche’s annual study and meditation retreat. To continue the celebration of Dhagpo’s fortieth anniversary, we took time one afternoon to plant trees all together. As explained on the 40th anniversary page Beautifying for a Better Welcome, this event marks the beginning of a longterm project to continue to beautify the center and offer a world-class welcome to all of Dhagpo’s visitors.
The site and soil along Dhagpo’s north east edge, bordering the road toward the Côte de Jor, were pre-prepared by Dhagpo’s diligent garden team and a group of motivated helpers in the weeks preceding the event. They patiently dug out and removed all unwanted rocks from a one-meter by one-meter hole for each of the thirteen plants, and then replaced the original earth with carefully-placed layers of dirt and planting soil. When the public arrived to help with the final maneuvers, everything was ready for a convivial and efficient ceremony.
Jigme Rinpoche picked up the first shovel and showed us all how to really plant a tree, handily hollowing a space in the prepared soil and settling a cypress tree comfortably into the dirt, grinning all the while. At the same time, groups of two or three labored at neighboring holes to implant further cypresses and rosebushes. Others gathered around to chant the wishes for Tibet’s wellbeing and Orgyen’s Wishes as the planting took place. All told, 7 cypress trees (Cupressus sempervirens) et 6 Queen Elizabeth rosebushes (Rosa sp.) were planted to kick off Dhagpo’s plantation project.