Making Tsa-Tsas

I always wanted to get mom out to the mountain. She loved nature and wildflowers… and sorting through rocks, selecting favorites to keep. She marveled at moss and the cycle of nature.

She would have dug it out here.

But being this remote and angled can be a bit treacherous, so it was a trip we only talked about in hypothetical and somewhat magical regard.

I decided to bring some of her ashes on this trip to spread along the creek. Brent took hold of the idea and made it better. His experience in Tibet and with Buddhism presented the concept of making tsa-tsas – sacred objects to memorialize a spirit.

Brent gathered clay and flowers and we kneaded ashes into the foundation, putting them in a metal form of Tara.

Once dried, we placed one of these tsa-tsas on a moss-covered boulder by the creek. Surrounded by beauty, it will slowly make its way back into the earth.

The base mixture of clay and flowers
Hands holding a metal tsa-tsa form of Tara
The metal mold of Tara
Ashes on the clay mixture
Mixing in ashes
Kneading the clay mixture for tsa-tsas
Kneading things together
Erik kneads the clay mixture
Erik prepares clay for the form
Tsa-tsa metal form
Tsa-tsas of Tara dry in the sun
Ready to dry
A man holds a dog and another man stands by them
My thanks to Brent (and Bandit) for this lovely experience