By: Sharon Aron Baron
The Coral Springs Museum of Art will once again host Tibetan Buddhist monks of the Drepung Gomang Monastery, and residents can preregister now for events lasting over seven days.
From February 10 through February 16, 2020, museum visitors will be able to get a first-hand look at traditional Tibetan Buddhist teachings and artistic expression by partaking in various events and spiritual activities.
“The Coral Springs Museum of Art always looks forward to visits from the members of the Drepung Gomang Monastery, and we are thrilled to have once again such a diverse array of events centered around their time with us,” said Julia Andrews, Executive Director of the Coral Springs Museum of Art. “It is a privilege to be in their presence and learn about their culture and teachings.”
The tour is part of the monks’ mission to spread the message of peace, loving-kindness, wisdom, and compassion. Each day will be opened and closed with sacred Tibetan chanting, and the monks will also devote themselves daily to the construction of the renowned sand mandala for Chenrezig, the Buddha of compassion.
Millions of colored grains of sand will be carefully laid out in detailed patterns and diagrams, which represent sacred textual Buddhist imagery. Upon completion on Sunday, February 16, the mandala will be ceremoniously deconstructed and deposited into a moving waterway, which is believed to spread blessings to the local community.
“We hope that the construction of this mandala will reinforce in each of us the value of all living things and encourage us to embrace a stance of balance and compassion,” said Andrews.
Additional highlights of the week will include authentic Tibetan artistic workshops as well as a Tibetan lunch and dinner prepared by the monks. The lunch will take place on Wednesday, February 12, at 12:30 p.m., and the dinner will take place on Thursday, February 13, at 6:30 p.m.
These once in a lifetime culinary events will feature traditional favorites such as momos (dumplings) and naan (leavened flatbread). Artistic workshops will feature the ancient art of butter sculpture, the decoration of mani stones, and daily meditation and dharma hours. A Cultural Pageant Spectacular will occur on Saturday, February 15, at 1 p.m. and will present costume, ritual dance, song, and chants.
Some events require ticket purchase or pre-registration, and space is limited for workshops and culinary events. To learn more and register, visit CSMOAMonks2020. Visitors will also be able to purchase goods from the Tibetan Marketplace, which will be located in the museum and offered by the monks throughout their visit.
All contributions from the tour are used to purchase food, housing, and medical supplies for the nearly 2,000 monks at the Drepung Gomang Monastery. Long term goals also support seed funds for income-generating projects aimed at eventual self-sufficiency