The Sawdust Art Festival will be the new host for the Drepung Gomang Monks Sacred Tibetan Arts Tour, Jan. 28 – Feb. 5. This is a big switch-up from the Tibetan Monks’ usual temporary residence at the Neighborhood Congregational Church. I began covering the Tibetan Monks in October 2010 when they returned to Laguna after a long absence. (That first year, I even got to photograph their afternoon excursion in learning to kayak. It was a hoot!) I’ve since covered their return visits in 2012, 2014 and 2016.

It’s such a pleasure to see these Tibetan monks return to our community. The sand mandala they create is so extraordinary that this is a “must see” event, even if you’re only able to drop in one of the several days they’ll be working.

Please be kind and donate as per requested, below. Proceeds go directly to their monastery and travel costs not already covered.

On Monday, Jan 28:
Opening ceremonies from 10 to 11 a.m.
Mandala Creation from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Explanation for the White Tara Mandala from 4 to 5 p.m.
Hear the Monks’ unique trichord chanting at the beginning and end of each day.

On Tuesday, Jan 29, be a part of the Mandala Creation from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., with a chant for world peace from 7 to 8 p.m. “Meet the Monks” follows with a Q&A session. The suggested donation is $10.

On Wednesday, Jan 30:
Mandala Creation from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.,
7 to 8 p.m., a lesson on abot Tara and Guru Puja for good health, relief of suffering and to purify obstacles. The suggested donation is $10.

On Thursday, Jan 31 and Friday, Feb 1:
Mandala Creation is from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., with Chod Puja providing a combination of chanting, music and prayer. The suggested donation $10.

On Saturday, Feb 2:
Mandala Creation is from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., with children’s workshops, artist displays, a meditation garden and a labyrinth.
7 – 9 p.m. is a Cultural Pageant featuring The Mandala Prayer, The Good Luck Dance, The Black Hat Dance, The Snow Lion Dance, and more on the Main Stage. The suggested donation is $10 for a single person or $20 for a family (free for those under 10 years of age).

On the final day, Sunday, Feb 3:
Mandala Creation is 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
2 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. White Tara Mandala Dissolution and procession to Main Beach.

House blessings (office, school, galleries, churches, etc.) are available during the Drepung Gomang Monks Sacred Tibetan Arts Tour January 28 – February 3.
Call Pam Wicks at (949) 573-7104 for scheduling and information. All events are open to the public.