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On this auspicious day when the His Holiness the Dalai Lama offered the opening prayer for the U.S. Senate, on behalf of Placerville Friends of Tibet we’d like to offer a hardy “Tashi Delek” (thank you) to the people of Placerville and El Dorado County who all together made this year’s (the 10th) visit by the Tibetan monks of Gaden Shartse Monastery such a resounding success. It was delightful to see the full houses and often standing-room-only audiences every day for the various events, not to mention the hundreds, perhaps thousands of people who streamed through the Cozmic Cafe to witness the creation of the sand mandala, and who invariably left smiling with the serenity and beauty of the room, the mandala and the monks.
Once again Placerville has shown its amazing hospitality and financial generosity in giving the monks a warm welcome and “home away from home” while they were here, including the incredibly generous donations that provide the much needed material support for the 1500 monks at their home-in-exile, Gaden Shartse Monastery in India.
While we would love to thank each and every person individually (we do in our hearts, and hopefully the time spent with the monks will provide also provide an even better “thank you”), we wish to particularly note the generosity and help of Jacob and Alyssa Mingle and the staff of the Cozmic Cafe, who once again opened their doors and hearts to the monks, allowing them to take up residence upstairs in the cafe for the two weeks. The Cozmic is a blessing to have in our community, and we hope that it continues to prosper and provide important public space for community events such as the Gaden Shartse monks’ visit.
We also wish to wholeheartedly thank the Mountain Democrat staff for their outstanding coverage of the events, and the beautiful photos taken by Shelly Thorene that accompanied their coverage, with a special nod to Mimi Escabar, features editor, whose ongoing editorial attention to the happenings in our community is a true gift to our county. We also want to extend our appreciation to the many other media outlets in the county and region for their help as well, including all of our many new “Friends” at Placerville Friends of Tibet on Facebook.
As always, a number of area businesses stepped up to help, including meals offered by Z-Pies, Taste of Thai, and Sierra Rizing restaurants, and individuals like Todd and Amy Sprague, Nicole and Dominic Ozenne, Tasneem Sah, Jaz Moyer and others who also provided meals. Special thanks to Jeff and Jimee Trout-Taylor for opening (actually “turning over”) their home to the monks during the entire time. It was a blessing, much acknowledged by the monks, to have a warm place to sleep, a stove and stocked fridge to cook from, and a place to do the laundry.
Big thank you’s too, to Mountainside Spiritual Center and Reverend Robin Davidson for sharing their space with us for the Interfaith Ceremony, which was both moving and lovely, with participation from a wide range of religious and spiritual traditions. And to Spiritual Center for Positive Living and Reverend Patty Weber in Cameron Park for sharing their dining and kitchen facility so the monks could cook delicious momos for the guests who attended the “monk-prepared” Tibetan meal there. Also to Joaquin Fioresi and the Wellness Center for providing a space for the special workshop, as well as the Cameron Park Community Center for being so helpful and easy to work with during the monks’ Tibetan Cultural Night presentation.
We also want to thank and acknowledge all the volunteers that made the monks’ visit possible, from providing meals and staffing tables, to arranging visits to senior centers and participating in the Interfaith Ceremony, to putting up posters, running errands and taking care of all the many big and small things that make such an extended and anticipated series of events possible. While it’s too long a list to mention everyone here, we’d like to say special thanks to George and Holly Foster for providing the video setup at the cafe, Carol Hodge-Little for connecting us with new friends and expanded interest in the Cameron Park area, and Marelyn Johnson for doing the same in the Amador area.
Lastly, we want to thank the hundreds, even thousands of people from Placerville and the surrounding communities that came to the talks, ceremonies, cultural events or just to see the beautiful Vajrasattva Sand Mandala as it grew in color, shape and detail day-by-day. Your generosity once again shows the wonderful open heart of our community. We and the monks appreciate it more than we can express. May your generosity continue on out into the world, and be a blessing to you and your families and our beautiful (and much-loved by the monks) community.
(Note: The monks are continuing to tour in Northern California through March and into April, including more stops in Cameron Park, Roseville and Sacramento. For a full schedule of locations and events, see gadensharteculturalfoundation.org or visit our Facebook page at facebook.com/PvilleTibet.)
Wishing everyone a very happy Losar (Tibetan New Year) in this Year of the Wooden Horse, and once again, Tashi delek (thank you).
BARBARA HILLMER, WENDY GUGLIERI, JIMEE AND JEFF TAYLOR, GALE HESSELGESSER, FRAN MAY, CAROLYN WELLS, TRIPP MIKICH, MARELYN JOHNSON, CAROL HODGE-LITTLE
Placerville Friends of Tibet 2014 Organizing Committee