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One morning I woke up and read an email from someone I had never met. It began, “Dear Lordo—you are a hipster f*ggot b*tch.”

The gentleman went on to say that I should “take off the f*cking rimmed glasses, put on an orange robe and stop f*cking girls.” This raised many questions, such as, “How would I see?” “Can my robe be a bath robe?” “Is J Crew acceptable?” “Will my girlfriend be okay with a sexless life together?” This email, while largely bizarre and misinformed, caught my eye. More importantly, it reminded me that we are now officially in dön, or obstacle, season.

From a Tibetan Buddhist point of view, we are entering the New Year on February 19th. For a period prior to the New Year there is a time that is traditionally known for being a rough patch—a time of obstacles. It begins on February 8th and continues until February 17th. Lodro Dorje, an acharya in the Shambhala tradition, has written a lovely piece about it. In it he says,

“Just as the motion of the earth and the cycle of the seasons take place, there may be also a cycle of the karmic forces on a psychic level. Traditionally the end of the old year is seen as a time of the ripening of karmic tendencies.”

This dön season is a time where the accumulated karma from the past year rises up and, at times, feels like it’s slapping you in the face. This is said to take a variety of forms: arguments, accidents, heated conflict. On a more inner level, we are more prone to fixed emotions and opinions, sickness and feeling unbalanced.

Perhaps you’re having a delightful week so far and think that this is Tibetan hooey. That’s fine. There are lots of lovely posts on this site, so go check them out. But if you’ve been feeling suddenly blue, fatigued or have been called a hipster f*ggot b*tch, it might be helpful to consider that the ending of an annual cycle may very well be having an effect on your well-being.

Dön Season: How to Survive the Next 10 days of Chaos. | elephant journal

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