Tibetan monks from the Drepung Gomang Monastery Visit Coral Springs

Tibetan monks from the Drepung Gomang Monastery in India building a sand mandala.

Tibetan monks from the Drepung Gomang Monastery in India building a sand mandala.

By: Sharon Aron Baron

A group of Tibetan monks from the Drepung Gomang Monastery in India will be in residency at the Coral Springs Museum of Art for their Sacred Arts Tour to share elements of their cultural traditions, including building a sand mandala, teaching culinary workshops, creating a butter sculpture and a blessing garden.

“The Coral Springs Museum of Art is honored to host the members of the Drepung Gomang Monastery,” said Julia Andrews, Executive Director for the museum.  “To be in the presence of these devoted men and learn about their culture is truly a privilege.”

The Tibetan Buddhist monks from the Drepung Gomang Monastery are followers of the Dalai Lama who went into exile in 1959. In 1969, 62 surviving Gomang monks were given 42 acres of land in Mondgod, in the south of India, where two thousand monks currently live in a rebuilt monastery. Donations received during the Sacred Art Tour enable the monks to continue to practice their culture, traditions and religion.

A highlight of the Sacred Art Tour residency held on January 19-24 is the creation of a sand mandala, an ancient ritual that predates Buddha and which used to be conducted in secret. Mandalas constructed from sand are unique to Tibetan Buddhism and are believed to lead to purification and healing. After consecrating the site with sacred chants and music, the monks use a detailed drawing (typically from memory) to create a structure for the mandala.

To fill in the design, a narrow metal funnel called a “chakpur” is used to deposit millions of grains of colored sand. At its completion, the mandala is consecrated, after which the monks deconstruct it and deposit the sand into a moving waterway, which is believed to spread the blessings to the local area. The monks will be walking to the body of water bordering Coral Springs Drive, which empties into the Atlantic Ocean, for this final step.

Here are the dates available to the public:

Jan. 19-24, 2016
Tuesday, Jan. 19 at 10 a.m.: Opening Ceremony and Mandala Mapping: Sunday, Jan. 24 at 3 p.m.: Deconstruction of Mandala
Daily chanting at 10 a.m. and 5:30 p.m.
Mandala construction daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Where:
Coral Springs Museum of Art
2855 Coral Springs Drive
Coral Springs, FL 33065

Admission:
Most events and exhibits are free with museum admission, which is $10 for adults and $6 for students and children ages 5-17. Workshops are individually priced and include museum admission. Children under age 5 are free.

Hours:
Tuesday through Saturday: 10 a.m.–5 p.m.
Sunday: 11 a.m.–4 p.m.

Additional Events and Workshops during Sacred Art Tour:

Monday, Jan. 18 at 4 p.m.
Shopping at Fresh Market, 4633 N. University Dr., Coral Springs, 33067

Tuesday, Jan. 19:
10 a.m. Opening Ceremony and Mandala Mapping
4 p.m. Mani Stone Workshop (Stones to create a blessing garden) $5, pre-registration encouraged, space limited

Wednesday, Jan. 20 at 4 p.m.: Butter Sculpture Workshop $5, pre-registration encouraged, space limited

Thursday, Jan. 21 at noon: Tibetan Cooking Class & Lunch (ticketed event) $25, pre-registration required, space limited to 30

Friday, Jan. 22:
4 p.m. Fire Puja followed by Q&A Free, donations encouraged
7:30 p.m. Tibetan Cooking Class & Dinner (ticketed event) $45, pre-registration required, space limited to 30

Saturday, Jan. 23:
10:30 a.m. Kids Program: Coloring Tibetan Designs $5, pre-registration encouraged, space limited
2 p.m. Cultural Pageant – Free, donations encouraged
4 p.m. Dharma Talk – Free, donations encouraged

Sunday, Jan. 24:
10:30 a.m. Mani Stones Workshop $5, pre-registration encouraged, space limited
1 p.m. Butter Sculpture Workshop $5, pre-registration encouraged, space limited
3 p.m. Mandala Deconstruction Ceremony

About Sharon Aron Baron

Sharon Aron Baron Sharon Aron Baron is the Editor of Talk Media and writer for Coral Springs Talk. CST was created in 2012 to provide News, Views and Entertainment for the residents of Coral Springs, Parkland and the rest of South Florida.

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