How to Use the Dharma Practice Calendar

Introduction

In Tibetan Buddhism and many other ancient traditions, different practices are said to be more effective if performed during particular phases of the lunar cycle. The Tibetan calendar is a lunar calendar based on the phases of the moon. However, since the phase of the moon is based on the relative positions of the sun and moon to the earth, and not on the spinning of the earth, a particular phase such as full moon happens at the same instant, regardless of where the observer is on the planet. That instant could be 6pm on Sunday for one observer, and 6am on Monday for another. Therefore a Tibetan calendar that is calculated in India or Tibet may not be very precise in predicting the best time to practice in another part of the world.

We offer here a calendar that gives precise times corresponding to the Tibetan days-of-the-month that are generally prescribed for various practices.

If you cannot see the calendar at right, try accessing it here. If that doesn't work, try logging into your google account first if you have one. Otherwise, you might try deleting cookies from google.com, or allowing access to third party cookies.

How to Read the Calendar

The calendar shows the normal western calendar with the days of the month in the upper right hand corner of each square. The Tibetan day or days (there could be one, two or none on each western day) is shown with a time and the day number. The time is when the lunar aspect indicated by the Tibetan day number starts. If you click on the event in the calendar, you can see more information, such as the Tibetan month (in both Tibetan calendar systems) and information on eclipses if relevant.

Practice Tips

For a practice that is prescribed for the Tibetan 15th (Full Moon) day, for example, you may do the practice any time between the time indicated for the 15th and the start of the 16th. Generally speaking, it is advantageous to do the practice toward the end of the period, that is, in this example, closer to the peak of the full moon. (The time shown for the 16th is the exact time of the full moon, the time for the 1st is the exact time of the new moon.)

Donate

If you find this calendar useful, a donation would be greatly appreciated. Karma Thegsum Tashi Gomang is raising money to upgrade an alternate road to the stupa to replace the main road that has recently been closed.

 

Subscribe for More Features for Free

The calendar you see here shows U.S. Mountain time. The only way to view the calendar in other time zones is to subscribe to the calendar in your Google account. Click on the + Google Calendar button in the lower right corner, and, if you're already logged in to your Google account, you will be asked to confirm if you want to add the calendar. If not, you will be taken to a Google login page where you can login or create a new Google account if you don't already have one.

Once you have subscribed to the calendar, you can view it in your own time zone, customize it by changing colors, share or export it to your desktop computer or mobile devices, etc.

Further information

For fascinating background information about this calendar, including a list of Buddhist practices for each date, consult Michael Erlewine's Dharma Practice Calendar: 150-Year Buddhist Lunar Calendar, available at Amazon.com or online as a PDF.

Donate

Don't forget to donate to our Stupa Access Road Project. We need to raise $38,000… Thanks…