Pasatiempo - - Mixed Media - — Michael Abatemarco


With his right hand touch­ing the earth and his left clutch­ing the va­jra scepter (which rep­re­sents many con­cepts, in­clud­ing in­di­vis­i­ble en­light­en­ment and un­con­quer­able force), the Ak­shob­hya Bud­dha (also known as the Im­mov­able One) em­bod­ies un­shak­able peace in the face of con­flict in Va­jrayana Bud­dhism. The monks of the Dre­pung Losel­ing Monastery — orig­i­nally based in Ti­bet un­til its seat was de­stroyed after the Com­mu­nist takeover in 1959 and was then re­built in Kar­nataka, In­dia — re­turn to Santa Fe to con­struct an Ak­shob­hya sand man­dala at Seret & Sons Gallery (121 San­doval St., 505-988-9152) on Sun­day, Nov. 23. The tra­di­tional man­dala is an elab­o­rate, ge­o­met­ri­cally ar­ranged Bud­dhist rep­re­sen­ta­tion of the uni­verse that is rit­u­ally com­posed from mil­lions of grains of col­ored sand, tak­ing sev­eral days of in­tense fo­cus to cre­ate.

The open­ing cer­e­mony is at 2 p.m. on Sun­day, Nov. 23. From 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., be­gin­ning on Nov. 23 and go­ing through Wed­nes­day, Nov. 26, vis­i­tors can watch the man­dala be­ing built, tak­ing part in med­i­ta­tion ses­sions and chant­ing at the close of each day’s con­struc­tion. From Nov. 28 through Dec. 5, the man­dala con­tin­ues to take shape, fol­lowed again by med­i­ta­tion ses­sions and chant­ing. On Dec. 6 and 7, the fi­nal two days of the man­dala’s cre­ation, the process comes to a close be­tween 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. The Up­aya Zen Cen­ter (1404 Cerro Gordo Road, 505-986-8518) hosts more med­i­ta­tion and chant­ing on Wed­nes­day, Nov. 26, and again on Dec. 3, at 5:30 p.m. Do­na­tions for at­tend­ing any of th­ese ac­tiv­i­ties are en­cour­aged.

On Dec. 6 at 2 p.m., Geshe Lob­sang Ten­zin Negi, the founder and spir­i­tual di­rec­tor of the Dre­pung Losel­ing Monastery’s North Amer­i­can seat in At­lanta, presents a work­shop, Hu­man Power of Com­pas­sion: Emerg­ing In­sights in CBCT Re­search, also at Seret & Sons Gallery. His pre­sen­ta­tion ad­dresses “cog­ni­tively-based com­pas­sion train­ing” (CBCT) as it re­lates to so­cial con­nec­tiv­ity. There is a sug­gested do­na­tion of $45 to at­tend the work­shop. At 2 p.m. on Dec. 7, H.E. Gala Rin­poche, res­i­dent teacher at the At­lanta Dre­pung Losel­ing Monastery, gives a lec­ture ti­tled “Sym­bol­ism of the Man­dala.” This event pre­cedes the 3 p.m. man­dala clos­ing cer­e­mony at Seret & Sons Gallery; there is a sug­gested do­na­tion of $10. All events are spon­sored by the Mys­ti­cal Arts of Ti­bet, a non­profit that pro­motes the Dre­pung Losel­ing Monastery as well as Ti­betan arts; do­na­tions help support the monastery. For more in­for­ma­tion, call 505-660-3352 or con­tact the Mys­ti­cal Arts of Ti­bet at 404-982-6437.

Sand man­dala by monks of the Dre­pung Losel­ing Monastery, 2005

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