Tibetan Monks of Gaden Shartse Monastery return to Placerville

By From page B3 | November 26, 2010

Placerville Friends of Tibet is pleased to announce the return of the Tibetan Monks of Gaden Shartse Monastery to the Cozmic Café, beginning Jan. 4, with the opening ceremony of the sand Mandala and ending with the dedication and dissolution of the sand Mandala on Jan. 12.

This 10 day visit by eight monks of the Tibetan Gaden Shartse Monastery in India, including four “Geshes” or “high teachers,” begins Tuesday, Jan. 4, with the opening ceremony, upstairs at the Cozmic Café, 594 Main St. in Placerville, inaugurating the beginning of construction of the sand Mandala, a beautiful sacred painting of sand, created throughout the course of their visit.

Creation of the sand Mandala upstairs at the Cozmic Cafe will go on continuously throughout the visit and the public is invited to observe.

Other events with the monks include a number of public talks and presentations throughout their visit, including a special Tibetan dinner and cultural night at the Sequoia Restaurant in Placerville, Saturday, Jan. 8.

There will also be a special ecumenical prayer ceremony and offering on the American River on Sunday, Jan. 9.

The special benefit dinner and cultural night on Jan. 8, will include traditional Tibetan food and drink, followed by “A Journey to the Roof of the World: Sacred Dance and Chants of Tibet,” a specially choreographed cultural performance of traditional Tibetan Buddhist ritual dance, chanting and participatory “monastic debate.”

This beautiful performance of traditional Tibetan culture was developed with the help of a Hollywood producer and is being presented throughout the U.S. during the tour.

Tickets to the benefit dinner are limited to 50 only. The performance following the dinner will sit 200.

Tickets for the dinner must be purchased no later than Dec. 27.

For questions regarding the benefit dinner and cultural night at the Sequoia in Placerville contact Carolyn at 530-748-5864 or e-mail [email protected]

This will be the first time in two years that a full group of Tibetan monks has visited Placerville, a place that has become a regular stop on their almost yearly “Sacred and Healing Arts Tours” of North America.

Last year a smaller group of monks visited Placerville for one day, but were unable to do the traditional sand Mandala that has drawn standing room only crowds year after year.

Sand Mandala

The creation of the sand mandala, a cosmic symbol or depiction of the spiritual universe of Tibetan Buddhism, is a beautifully painstaking process of placing grains of colored sand into the formation of an ornate, complex, and breathtakingly beautiful design, requiring a hundred or more hours of work by the monks.

After nine days of the painstaking and very careful effort, the sand mandala is dedicated or “offered” as a blessing, and then is ritually destroyed, signifying the impermanence of all phenomena, a core teaching of all Buddhism.

During the process of the creation of the sand mandala, the Cozmic Caée is open and visitors are welcome and encouraged to come and watch the meditative work devoted to the creation of the sand mandala.

The monks will also be on hand to talk with people, answer questions about their lives and about being a monk, Tibetan Buddhism, or just to share time with them.

The monks will also be available for personal and house or business blessings throughout their stay.

A full printed schedule of talks and other presentations by the monks will be available soon. The full Northern California and U.S. tour schedule is also available at the Gaden Shartse Cultural Foundation Website at

Volunteers are also needed to help during the days when the monks are working on the mandala at the Café and for other parts of the preparations and visit.

Those interested in volunteering should contact Wendy Guglieri at 530-622-3514, or e-mail [email protected]

For general questions regarding the Gaden Shartse Tibetan Monks’ visit to Placerville, or to schedule personal or house blessings during their visit, contact Barbara Hillmer at 530-642-9654 or e-mail [email protected]

The Gaden Shartse Monastery’s 2010-2011 Sacred Arts and Healing Tour benefits the Gaden Shartse Cultural Foundation, a registered non-profit organization.

Gaden Shartse Cultural Foundation’s mission is to be of service to the world community, helping to spread peace, harmony, compassion, and tolerance through cultural exchange, interfaith dialog, and Buddhist teachings, and to raise funds for the education, maintenance, housing, and medical needs of the monks at Gaden Shartse Monastery located in the Tibetan Refugee Settlement in Mundgod, India.

Funds raised on the 2010-2011 tour will be donated directly to the Gaden Shartse Education Project, responsible for meeting the education needs of the monastics, including supplies, teachers, technology, buildings, maintenance, and outreach.

Placerville Friends of Tibet is an ad hoc group of volunteers in the Placerville area dedicated to helping preserve the unique and living cultural, spiritual, and historical legacy of the Tibetan people, whether they be in exile, or in their presently Chinese occupied homeland in Tibet.

Press Release

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