On the day after the conclusion of the annual Monastic Rainy Season Retreat (Yarney), the nuns of Nagi Nunnery perform Chöd Pūjā and Dance.
Chöd practice, established by the great female master Machig Labdrön, is based on the Prajñāpāramitā or “Perfection of Wisdom” sutra, which emphasizes the “emptiness” concept of Buddhist philosophy.
Ending suffering and its causes is the path to Enlightenment. This can be attained through the practice of Compassion combined with the practice of Wisdom that realizes emptiness. Chöd is an effective means that integrates both of these practices.
Everything that we do is for me/myself: my happiness, my well-being. Clinging to the concept of “I” is the root cause of all of our negative emotions and creates suffering. Chöd practice helps us detach from materialistic or outer attachments and follow the path to selflessness and Enlightenment.
The Tibetan word Chöd means “to cut” or “to slay” and the Chöd practice is known as “cutting through the ego.”
Through the practice, one develops relative Bodhicitta (where others are considered more precious than oneself) and ultimate Bodhicitta (where the emptiness of all phenomena is understood).
The Pūjā and Dance is a whole day event starting from early morning until late in the evening. Besides the profound meaning of Chöd, the practice is also famous for its many wonderful melodies. Attending and listening to the recitations of the chants and mantras of the Chöd Pūjā and watching the dance are considered very beneficial for developing selflessness and Bodhicitta.
May the virtue of anyone who rejoices in this auspicious activity be dedicated to the Enlightenment of all sentient beings. May all sentient beings cut self-cherishing through their Compassion and cut clinging to naive beliefs through their Wisdom.