Annual visit of Tibetan Monks is January 16-February 1 in Grass Valley

Sierra Friends of Tibet is once again honored and delighted to continue its very special tradition of welcoming the New Year by hosting Tibetan Buddhist Monks from the historic Gaden Shartse Monastery (exiled in southern India) to Grass Valley and Nevada County.

Now in its 14th year, this much anticipated annual community event provides a full schedule of Tibetan cultural presentations, giving area residents and visitors a chance to experience firsthand the unique culture of the Tibetan people and the rich traditions of Tibet and Tibetan Buddhism. The Monks will construct a sacred ‘Sand Mandala’ in St. Joseph’s Hall, and offer a full schedule of special programs, lectures, art and cultural events, alive with the rich color and pageantry of ancient rituals and ceremonies of mystical Tibet.

Always the focal point of the Monks visit, the Sand Mandala is meticulously constructed over a two week period into an intricate pattern through a slow and meditative process, one colored grain of sand at a time. The Mandala is created by ‘painting’ an incredible work of art from a palette of the colorful sands, using specially designed copper instruments. Each figure, flower, animal, and esoteric symbol (such as the ‘Endless Knot’) in the mandala, holds special significance and is a symbolic representation of the inner and outer meanings of both the cosmos and the inner-consciousness. Mandalas are used by the Tibetan people to achieve higher states of consciousness and open doors to awareness.

The Monks will also offer a full schedule of public programs, school programs, lectures, classes, artwork, and rituals during their stay. This year’s program begins on Friday, January 16 with the ‘Sand Mandala Opening Ceremony’: A purification and dedication ritual to cleanse the environment and purify the atmosphere for the construction of the Mandala.

For more information visit Sierra Friends of Tibet.

-Sierra Friends of Tibet

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