Fire and Smoke: A Conversation on Death and Ritual Offering with Tibetan Buddhist Monk Venerable Tsering Phunstok
Observatory (543 Union St., Brooklyn)
What can a monk tell you about the secret of life? And how does understanding impermanence and preparing for death expand upon the secret of life? Tonight’s conversation between Venerable Tsering Phunstok– a practicing Tibetan Buddhist monk residing in India– and artist Shannon Brunette will investigate Tibetan Buddhist perspectives on death and impermanence in modern life, as well as the life of the Tibetan monk as it relates to the most basic tenets of Buddhist practice and beliefs regarding death, karma and reincarnation through conversation. Questions will also be taken from the audience.
After the talk, Ven. Tsering Phunstok will conduct a traditional Tibetan fire and smoke offering. The Smoke Offering (Sang) is a ritual practice of making vast offerings to pacify obstacles and raise awareness. It is a practice of connecting with the forces of life and establishing an open relationship with existence. It is traditionally used to create harmony, resolve karmic debts, generate vitality, success, prosperity and health in our life, in our land and in our local community. In this purifying ritual edible food, poison-less trees, flowers, fruits, grains, clothes as well as other things are burned to create a smoke cloud offering. This is an offering for both the living and the dead – and for all spirits.
Buddhists believe that giving without seeking anything in return leads to greater spiritual wealth; Buddhists call this generosity and giving Dāna. All admission fees from tonight’s event will be donated to support Tsering, his monastery and health projects in India. We are asking that you share your generosity further at the completion of the ritual offering.