Tibetan monks visiting Paso on US tour
The Drepung Gomang Monks will be stopping in Paso Robles on a United States tour to help spread the wisdom and traditions of Tibetan Buddhism.
EarthTones Gifts, Gallery & Center for Healing in Paso Robles will be hosting a four-day creation of a sand mandala for compassion to be created by the monks from April 21 to the 24. EarthTones joins a number of local businesses, schools and private parties who are planning events during their tour.
The multiple-day construction is open to the public daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Donations are gladly accepted and they will showcase for purchases a collection of handmade crafts, art, incense, singing bowls and jewelry.
The mandala, Tibetan sand painting, is an ancient art form of Tibetan Buddhism. “Mandala” is a Sanskrit word meaning cosmogram or “world in harmony.” The sand mandala is carefully constructed from dyed sand particles as a vehicle to, “generate compassion, to realize the impermanence of reality, and to create a social and cosmic healing of the environment,” said Earthtone’s owner Mary Uebersax.
The opening ceremony for the mandala construction will take place at 10 a.m. on April 21 at the studio inside Earthtones, located at 1319 Park St. in downtown Paso Robles. The tour leader and monks will chant prayers for peace, prosperity and healing. The closing ceremony will take place approximately 1 p.m. on April 24, followed by a procession. The mandala will be deconstructed and the sands will be dispersed at the end of the ritual as a symbol of the impermanence of all phenomena.
During the North County Tour the monks will also share a traditional meal, to be prepared and shared on April 23 at the Spice of Life in Paso Robles. Local residents and visitors can enjoy the lunch from 12 to 1 p.m. In addition, the Monks will present a discussion on meditation at The Dharma Yoga Center of Paso Robles, Tuesday April 21 from 5 to 6:30 p.m. Completing the week’s tour will be a cultural pageant in collaboration with local high schools at the Templeton Performing Arts Center on Friday, April 24 from 7 to 9 p.m.
“The Monks of Drepung Gomang are presently on tour in the United States to share the compassion and wisdom of Tibetan Buddhism, to demonstrate the artistic accomplishments of the people of Tibet, and to generate funds to insure the survival of Tibetan culture,” said Uebersax.
Donations will help build a food foundation fund which will help the monastery to provide a continuous food supply to the student monks in years to come. Information about Drepung Gomang Monastery and their Central Coast tour is available at website, www.charley.net.