It was the new year ceremony at the Turning Wheel Temple in Leicester and this year we went to it for the first time. It started with some sitting, then some bowing, then the Heart Sutra while the priest fanned out the Heart Sutra in all directions. After this we chanted the mantra for the protection of Sojiji with drum and bells. Then, after a short dharma passage on the new year and turning the wheel, we did the 108 rings on the big temple bell and prostrations to the founder’s shrine. This morning I chanted Namo Amida Butsu and the Samantabhadra mantra and hung up a new mindfulness calendar in my office, where I am typing this. An orthodox muslim customer in our wholefood co-operative told me he didn’t celebrate the new year as every day should include these ceremonies. I kind-of agree but think that a big reminder once a year isn’t such a bad thing. On the other hand, a daily puja can do the same job. Namo Amida Bu!