Who/What: A group of monks from the Drepung Gomang monastery in India will be in residency at the Coral Springs Museum of Art to share elements of their cultural traditions, including building a sand mandala, teaching culinary workshops, creating a butter sculpture and a blessing garden.
For more info, download brochure.
What is the Sacred Art Tour about? An important part of the mission for the Sacred Arts Tour is to bring awareness to the ongoing plight of Tibetans after 50 years of occupation. They are also here to raise donations to help support their way of life at the Monastery. They bring teachings of ancient ways and beliefs that do, even now, create the possibility of global peace, nonviolent conflict resolution, compassion and wisdom.
What is a sand mandala? Creation of a sand mandala is an ancient ritual that predates even Buddha. The Tibetans in particular have developed this tradition into a beautiful spiritual experience. Not so long ago this type of ceremony was done in complete secrecy at the Monasteries by only the holiest of monks. Mandalas constructed from sand are unique to Tibetan Buddhism and are believed to effect purification and healing. Typically, a great teacher chooses the specific mandala to be created. Monks then begin construction of the sand mandala by consecrating the site with sacred chants and music. Next, they make a detailed drawing from memory. Over a number of days, they fill in the design with millions of grains of colored sand.
Why is the Mandala destroyed? Upon it’s completion the mandala is blessed in ceremony, and destroyed. The underlying message of the mandala ceremony is that nothing is permanent. All things are in flux, it says, beautiful but ephemeral, moving but temporary, a plateau but not a summit. All things are called to balance and enlightenment and the fulfillment of the Divine image in them, yes, but in flux. The monks then enact the impermanent nature of existence by sweeping up the colored grains and dispersing them in flowing water which will carry the healing energies throughout the world.
Opening Ceremony: Experience a symbolic walk through our peace garden and into the Museum’s main gallery led by the monks of the Drepung Gomang Monastery. The monks will perform a blessing of the space with chanting and traditional instruments. Once completed, they will begin marking and measuring the mandala.
Monday, February 10, 10:00 a.m.
Mandala Construction: The monks will create a sand mandala for the Buddha of healing: Bhaisajyaguru. The purpose of the construction of this mandala and to recite the mantra of the Medicine Buddha is to overcome mental, physical and spiritual sickness and to encourage healing.
Daily 10 a.m. – Closing
Meditation and Dharma Hour: Spend time alongside the monks and the mandala in silent meditation, then soak in the wisdom of a dharma talk where you will learn about the universal truth that all monks live by.
Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday at 12 noon.
Mani Stone Workshop: Under the guidance of the monks, you will paint your own prayer stone known as a mani doh, or mani stone. These prayer stones are a physical representation of positive conditions such as long life, health and success.
Monday, February 10 at 4:00 p.m.
Friday, February 14 at 2:30 p.m.
Saturday, Febraury 15 at 4:00 p.m.
Butter Sculpture: Traditionally, Tibetan monks created elaborate sculptures of plants and animals inspired by stories of Buddha using butter from yak milk. Under the instruction of the monks, you will learn how to create beautiful, colorful flowers using non-toxic Play-Doh … much cleaner and easier to work with than yak butter.
Wednesday, February 12 at 4:00 p.m.
Friday, February 14 at 1:00 p.m.
Sunday, February 16 at 11:30 a.m.
Cultural Pageant Spectacular: Experience fascinating ancient Tibetan cultural traditions such as monastic debate, chants, Tibetan musical instruments and rituals of dance including the snow lion dance, yak dance and good luck dance.
Saturday, February 15 at 1 p.m.
Lunch and Dinner: Don’t miss this once in a lifetime cultural culinary experience! Observe the preparation of an authentic, traditional Tibetan meal and share it with the monks of the Drepung Gomang Monestary. Momos (dumplings) are a treat you won’t soon forget!
Dissolution Ceremony: An unforgettable experience! After spending countless hours laying millions of grains of sand into an intricate mandala, The monks will destroy it, sweeping the grains together in a sacred ceremony. After the dissolution, the blessed sand will be distributed among the attendees. The remaining sand will be poured into the water behind the Museum so the blessings will be carried with the flowing water.
Sunday, February 16 at 1:00 p.m.