Like sands through the mandala
Looking for something to soothe and nourish the soul just before the holiday frenzy? Observing a group of Tibetan monks create a mandala through sand painting or listening to their multiphonic singing can do that.
The monks of Drepung Loseling Monastery, established in the 15th century near Lhasa and now affiliated with Emory University, will begin constructing a mandala at Seret & Sons Gallery (121 Sandoval St.), centered around Green Tara, a female Buddha. The event is part of a program called The Mystical Arts of Tibet, a Richard Gere& Drepung Loseling Production hosted by Seret& Sons and presented in cooperation with the Santa Fe-based Gindak Foundation.
Created over the course of nearly two weeks, the mandala will be composed of millions of grains of colored sand, methodically poured by the monks. In conjunction with the building of the mandala, chanting and meditation periods will be conducted by the monks at 4:30 p.m. daily, beginning Monday, Dec. 7, and continuing through Dec. 18.
Opening ceremonies take place at Seret & Sons at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 6. Viewing times are scheduled from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, Dec. 7, through Saturday, Dec. 19, with closing festivities at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 20. The opening and closing ceremonies, as well as the viewing periods are free and open to the public (donations are welcome).
As part of the celebration, the Drepung Loseling monks will give a concert of traditional Tibetan temple music and masked dances (accompanied by members of Santa Fe’s local Tibetan community) at the James A. Little Theater (1060 Cerrillos Road) at 7 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 13. Tickets are $20, $15 for seniors and children under 12; children under 5 are admitted free. Momos, or Tibetan dumplings, will be sold during intermission and before the performance. Advance tickets are available at The Ark Bookstore (133 Romero St., 988-3709) and Seret & Sons Gallery or at the door on the evening of the performance. For information on other activities associated with the program — including a Dec. 11-13 relic tour and a talk by Geshe Lobsang Tenzin on “The Healing Power of Compassion: Insights From the Convergence of Modern Science and the Buddhist Science of Mind” on Dec. 19, both at Seret & Sons— see mysticalartsoftibet.org or call Clear Light Books at 989-9590.
Drepung Loseling monks with a completed sand mandala