This has to be one of the greatest events we’ve yet had come to Laguna Beach (and that’s saying a lot) for our little town…
For hundreds of years, the Tibetan Monks have been creating these sands paintings—what they call “Kultson Kyilkhor,” which loosely translates in english to mean “world in harmony of colored sand powder.” In Vajrayana Tibetan Buddhism, it is said that wherever a Sand Mandala is created, all sentient beings and the surrounding environment are blessed. Whoever views the mandala experiences profound peace and great joy. The colorfulness and harmony of the millions of sand particles in the mandala gives a powerful message that we all can live in peace if each of us work in creating a little more space for others in our hearts. It is said that for children in particular, upon seeing the Sand Mandala, one is left with very positive imprints which will germinate as sprouts of peace as they grow older.
The Tibetan Monks will be gathering at the Neighborhood Congregational Church for five full days to create this Sand Mandala. The Monks will begin the ceremony with an Opening Ceremony by consecrating the site of the mandala and sand painting with approximately 30 minutes of harmonic chants, inspirational music and mantra recitation, to make it conducive to creating the mandala. Then, they will begin drawing the line design for the mandala, a very exact and precise work based on ancient scriptures that can take at least 3 hours. From there, they work meticulously for the next several days, pouring millions of colored grains of sand from a funnel-shaped metal tool known as the “Chakpur.” This funnel is filled with colored sand and is then rasped in order to release a fine stream of sand. The artists begin at the center of the mandala and work outward.
The Tibetan Monks will be working on this sand painting for five days, from 10am to 3pm. While anyone and everyone is invited, please note that this is a very sacred event, symbolizing their message of world peace and a call to compassion between people of all races and origin.
When the Sand Mandala is done the closing ceremony will begin. During the closing ceremony, the monks dismantle the Mandala, sweeping up the colored sand to symbolize the impermanence of all phenomena. It is meant to be a teaching to show that everything that exists has a beginning, a middle, and an end. At this time half of the sand will be distributed to the audience as a blessing for their personal health and healing. The sand can either be kept in one’s home on the altar, or be dispersed around your yard as a protection for your home and family. The whole region where the sand Mandala was created, and in fact the whole earth, is said to be blessed by this process. The remainder is wrapped in silk and transported to moving water, where it is released back to nature.
This is a free event and something you definitely want to see from start to finish. So instead of staying at one of the many hotels around our town please stay with us at one of the many Laguna Beach rentals we have in town and feel the harmony this event has on our town.
The monks have traveled from the Drepung Loseling Phukang Monastery which, in and of itself, has its own tale to tell. To learn more about them visit loselingphukhang.org.
The event will be held at 340 St. Ann’s Drive (corner of Glenneyre and St. Ann’s) from September 18th to 22nd. On Saturday the 22nd a Tibetan meal will be prepared by the Monks and the whole community is invited to partake. At 7 pm on Friday night, come pray for world peace as a part of the Loma Chapa ceremony. This will take place at Bridge Hall adjoining the sanctuary. For info call 949-494-8061 or Pam Wicks at 949-573-7104.