It took alot of planning but the puja went off without a hitch. We had a turnout of more than 100 great people!
The food and drink were top notch, we had a fine spread of imported cheeses and a selection of Martins favorite German deli's cold-cuts and a keg of damn good beer, Scrimshaw pilsner , from North Coast Brewery. But the "best in show" libations by far were the fine Italian wines selected by Dalla Terra:
> Inama Soave Classico - Veneto
> Ajello Nero d'Avola - Sicily
> Aia Vecchia Lagone - Tuscany
> Li Veli - Passamante - Puglia
> Marco Felluga Merlot - Friuli
Dalla Terra wines, who's founder Brian Larky on top of being a fully rated pilot, 5th class whitewater guide, world class wine sommelier, and all around really good guy, also happens to take stunning photos. He didn't bring his "good camera" but the shots he captured were still excellent, check out his puja smugmug here.
After the initial feeding frenzy died down, Lama Tenzing of the Palpung Lungtok Choeling Monstary arrived. He sat down and a serene silence filled the room.
Martin and Tim came to the front and kneeled down on a large crash pad in front of the holy man. He began to chant reading from a scroll, then reached into his robe pocket and pulled out a small baggie filled with rice. He threw some grains to the North, South, East and West. Just like that our new basecamp was well on it's way to being blessed.
Tsering Wangmo --Photo Jackie Moore
Then a beautiful Tibetan woman named Tsering Wangmo came to the front of the room. She had a string instrument that I had never seen before called a Dramyen (i think) it had 6 strings in 3 sets of two. Each string in a set was under separate tension, when played it had a very interesting sound. She gave us a short intro of the songs she would sing, and then proceded to blow the room away. Her voice was one the most enchanting and ethereal sounds I have ever heard a human produce. The large concrete room reverberated with her song, I had the luck of sitting right in front of her. The songs she sang shook my body and sent chills down my spine (in a good way). We found out later that she is very well renowned and has played at Carnegie hall.
The crowd was still ringing from the performance when a plate of barley flour was brought out and we were told to form a big circle. The plate was passed around and everybody took a small pinch. Tsering led us in a chant to finish the blessing, at the end of the chant everybody tossed the flour into the air. It was quite a sight to behold.
The rest of the time was spent giving tours of our design and production facilities and product demos. Robert Link gave an epic slide show from his many travels all around the world.
This celebration was a big hit for SlingFin, it really got the company started on the right foot. Tons of good energy filled our space, and it shows no signs of leaving. We even had a dove fly in the front door! (she also shows no signs of leaving;)
Now i gotta go sweep up some flour...