[singlepic id=88 w=320 h=240 mode=watermark float=left]Last year at about this time, I covered a 5-day event that I still, to this day, believe was one of the most spectacular and memorable events to hit Laguna Beach.

Starting Wednesday, Sept, 21st, the Gaden Jangste Tsawa Monks will be blessing Laguna Beach with their presence once again. They will be creating a sand mandala and a butter sculpture at the Neighborhood Congregational Church, and participating in activities of benevolence through the 26th.

This is something you really do not want to miss. Last year, I told a neighbor in passing about this event and a week later, he left me a note of thanks, telling me it had been a life changing event for him. It was for me as well, and I know, from the comments I received on the blog and in email, that hundreds and hundreds of people felt the same.

This is only the second time EVER the monks have come to Laguna Beach, and our city is just one of a few they choose to visit in the United States.

Last year, these lovely Tibetan Monks from the Dalai Llama’s monastery in India came to the Laguna Beach Neighborhood Congregational Church to create a sand mandala. It was painstaking, incredible art in the making, as they patiently bent over their mandala day after long day. When they had finally finished, several hundred people were there (in the middle of a work day no less) to watch the monks complete a Dissolution Ceremony, wiping the mandala from existence with just a few short brushstrokes.

I have photos of the day-after-day event, along with rare photos of their first (gleeful) ocean kayaking lesson with Billy Whitfield of Laguna Lavida here: Sand Mandala Creation and Sand Mandala – Dissolution Ceremony and Monks Learning to Kayak . . . and purchase of these photos goes directly toward these monks as my gift to them.

[singlepic id=86 w=320 h=240 mode=watermark float=right]This year, the monks will be creating another sand mandala, but will also be adding the creation of a butter sculpture (yep, you read that right) made of colored butter.

 Here’s how their visit lays out:

Wednesday, Sept. 21 – 10:15 a.m. The opening ceremony with an initial welome from Rev. B.J. Beu, and chanting and a blessing by the monks. At 11:00 a.m., Geshe Tenzin Sherab will lead a discussion about the Sand Mandala and Butter Scuplture as the monks begin to get to work. the public is welcome at any time during their working hours.

Thurs, Fri and Sat, Sept. 22nd -24th, 10:00 a.m. to 4 p.m. Construction of the sand mandala and butter sculpture continues.

On Saturday, Sept. 24, at 6:00 p.m., the monks will do a blessing and sacred dance performance at the Chhahari Organization.

Sun, Sept. 25, 10 a.m. The monks will complete the sand mandala during the worship service. At noon, the Dissolution Ceremomy begins.

That same evening, at 7:00 p.m., the monks will do a fund raising event by providing dinner.

Monday, Sept. 26, 6:30 pm. The monks will be feeding the homeless at Laguna Beach’s homeless shelter.

Again, I can’t begin to describe what this visit from the Tibetan Monks entails. You simply need to see it for yourself!














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