The Tibetan monks of Gaden Shartse Monastery arrive in Newport at the Pacific Maritime Heritage Center for a full week of events from Tibet's ancient traditions, including the creation of the Medicine Buddha Sand Mandala, an intricate sand "painting" it will take the monks a week to create before it is ritually "dissolved". Events begin Tuesday, March 12 with the Opening Ceremony, and run through Sunday, March 17 with the Dissolution Ceremony of the sand mandala. This is the first time in nearly 20 years that the monks will create a sand mandala in Newport, says local coordinator Deanne Dunlap with Lincoln County Friends of Tibet, the group that is bringing the monks to this area. The five monks, all of whom are Tibetan, will create the sand mandala during the six days of their time here, , meticulously laying brilliantly colored sand using the same tools that have been used for over 800 years in this art. The design contains intricate forms and symbols representing the cosmic abode of the Tibetan “Medicine Buddha” figure.
Beginning on March 12 at noon with the opening ceremony, including traditional chanting and cleansing of the environment of negative energies, and each day through the mandala “Dissolution Ceremony” on 2pm, Sunday, March 17th, the public is invited to come and observe the intricate and meditative process of the mandala’s creation at the Maritime Center, 333 SE Bay Blvd along Newport’s historic waterfront, 10am to 6pm daily.
During their time in Newport the monks will be offering a number of public talks, Tibetan Buddhist sacred rituals and ceremonies, and two “family friendly, all-ages” workshops on Tibetan butter sculpture, Tibetan calligraphy, and making of sand mandalas. In addition to the workshops, the high Lama on this tour, Geshe* Lobsang Wangyl, will be doing two public talks, one on Thursday, March 14 at the Center for Health Education, 740 SW 9th Street in Newport, on Tibetan Buddhist teachings of “The Wisdom of Love and Compassion”, and another on Saturday, March 16th at 2pm at the Maritime Center on “Death, Bardo, and Rebirth”, on the Tibetan Buddhist practices and beliefs regarding death and dying. (Note: 'Geshe' is the title for a monk that has completed the highest level of learning and training in the Tibetan monastic tradition, taking some 20 or more years to complete. It is the equivalent of holding several PhDs.)
On Sunday, March 17th at 2pm, the completed sand mandala “Dissolution Ceremony” takes place. After spending almost 100 hours working on the creation of the Sand Mandala, the monks will enact the ritual “dissolution” of the mandala, literally sweeping up the mandala, signifying the impermanence of all things. All events are by “suggested donation”. However, no one will be turned away for lack of funds. All proceeds raised go to support the Tibetan monks of Gaden Shartse monastery in exile in India, through the Gaden Shartse Cultural Foundation, a 501(c)3 registered charity in the United States.
Tuesday, March 12 - Sunday, March 17 10am – 6pm daily: Viewing of the creation of the Medicine Buddha Sand Mandala. Note: Opening & closing day hours are shorter. Tuesday, March 12 12noon - Opening Ceremony of the Medicine Buddha Sand Mandala 7pm - Life of a Tibetan Monk slide show; live demonstration of Tibetan Monastic Debate; Traditional Tibetan chant; Q&A. Wednesday, March 13 7pm Vajravidaran Healing Ritual. Thursday, March 14 *7pm – The Wisdom of Love & Compassion: a talk by Geshe Wangyal. Center for Health Education - 740 SW 9th Street, Newport, Friday, March 15 *7pm – Chay Drol Healing & Purification Ceremony. Center for Health Education 740 SW 9th Street, Newport Saturday, March 16 *10am - 12noon Butter Sculpture Workshop for All ages! Newport Recreation Center, 225 SE Avery St. Newport Pre-registration recommended. Call 530-748-9365. (continued on other side) Saturday, March 16 (continued) 2pm - Death, Bardo & Rebirth: a talk by Geshe Wangyal (Maritime Center) 7pm - Medicine Buddha Empowerment (Maritime Center) Sunday, March 17 10am - 12noon - Tibetan Calligraphy and Sand Mandala Workshop. All Ages! Pre-registration recommended. Call 530-748-9365. (Maritime Center) 2pm Dissolution Ceremony of the Medicine Buddha Sand Mandala This two year U.S. tour by the Tibetan monks of Gaden Shartse Monastery (in exile) in India is brought to the U.S. by the Gaden Shartse Cultural Foundation and supporters of the Tibetan people and culture throughout the country. All proceeds collected directly benefit the over 1300 monks of Gaden Shartse Monastery. (Note: Gaden Shartse Cultural Foundation is a registered 501(c)3 charity.) All events are on a “suggested donation” basis. No one will be turned away for lack of funds. For more information or to register for the workshops or to schedule a home, business, land, or personal blessing by the monks, contact Lincoln County Friends of Tibet at LCFriendsofTibet@gmail.com or call Deanne at 541-336-1315 or Tripp at 530-748-9365. More information is also available on our Facebook Page, Lincoln County Friends of Tibet, or on the tour website at www.SacredArtsofTibetTour.org. Special thanks to the Pacific Maritime Heritage Center, Center for Health Education of Samaritan Health Services, and the people of Oregon’s beautiful coast for their kind and generous support.
photo and information provided by sacred arts of tibet tour