Tibetan Monks Return to Placerville for 10th Year! January 2nd - January 15th
Tibetan Monks Return to Placerville for 10th Year! January 2nd - January 15th, 2014
The Tibetan Monks of Gaden Shartse Monastery return to Placerville on January 2nd for a two week residency through January 15th upstairs at the Cozmic Cafe. The visit includes the day-by-day creation of the traditional Tibetan sand mandala, as well as a full range of other activities, including a butter sculpture workshop, many elaborate ceremonies and rituals of Tibetan Buddhism, a "teens and tweens" open discussion with the monks, a slide show Q&A on the life of the monks at the Gaden Shartse monastery in India, an interfaith ceremony, and a very special Tibetan Cultural Night Performance, Saturday, January 11th at the Cameron Park Community Center that will include sacred dance, music and chant of Tibet, as well as an audience participation "monastic debate" that is definitely not your college debate class!
The visit by the Gaden Shartse monks has been an almost annual event for the past 10 years, very much anticipated by the thousands of people who have come over the years to see the day-by-day unfolding of the sand mandala creation, or attended the many wonderful special events the monks offer while here.
The monks have often remarked that Placerville is one of their favorite stops on their annual North American tours, both because of the warmth and generosity of the people of El Dorado County, as well as the fact that our Sierra Nevada mountains remind them of their exiled Himalayan homeland in Tibet, and our Sierra foothills remind them of Dharamsala in India, home of the Dalai Lama, and for many of the monks, their first stop after being forced into exile during and after the Chinese invasion and occupation of Tibet beginning in 1959.
This year's visit to Placerville has been extended to a full two weeks, January 2nd through January 15th. Every day during their visit, except Mondays when the cafe is closed, the public is invited to come and watch the monks tirelessly work on the sandgrain-by-sandgrain construction of the elaborate and ritually symbolic sand mandala of Tibetan Buddhism, an art that goes back some 800 years ago, and according to Tibetan tradition, originated with the historical Buddha some 2500 years ago.
During most evenings, and during weekend days, there are many special activities and events scheduled, including:
* a butter sculpture workshop for children and families Saturday, January 4th
* a traditional Tibetan meal prepared by the monks, January 8th (reservation only! seating extremely limited)
* several Tibetan rituals and ceremonies
* a slideshow and Q&A on the life of the Gaden Shartse monks in India, January 7th
* an all day workshop on the "6 Destructive Emotions", Saturday, January 11th
* an Interfaith Ceremony for the Earth and All Her Peoples, Sunday, January 12th
* and many more events!
One of the highlights of this year's visit will be the Saturday, January 11th Tibetan Cultural Night Performance at the Cameron Park Community Center in Cameron Park, where the monks will present an evening of traditional and sacred dance, music and chants of Tibet, along with an audience participation of the boisterous and very physical Tibetan monastic debate. Not your typical college debate class, for sure!
For a complete schedule of events, see day to day listing below, or visit the Placerville Friends of Tibet Facebook page at www.facebook.com/PvilleTibet. Or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The visit the Gaden Shartse monks is sponsored by the Placerville Friends of Tibet, an ad hoc group of local citizens of all faiths and beliefs, united in the desire to share the embattled and threatened culture of Tibet with others in our County, and with the fervent hope that one day the people of Tibet will be allowed to return to their homeland and practice their beliefs and culture.
All proceeds for the events go to the Gaden Shartse Cultural Foundation, a 501c3 nonprofit that provides food and other material support to the 1,500 monks of the Gaden Shartse Monastery, the traditional home monastery of the Dalai Lama, now situated (in exile) in Southern India in the Tibetan Refugee Resettlement Zone.
Gaden Shartse Tibetan Monks at the Cozmic Café, 594 Main St. in Placerville, through Jan. 15
Thursday, Jan. 2 at 7 p.m. — Sand mandala opening ceremony
Jan. 3 to 15 — Sand mandala viewing, all day, every day, till close of business. View the creation of the sand mandala as the monks are working on it throughout the day from 9 a.m.-till close of business, except Mondays when the café is closed.
Friday, Jan. 3 at 7 p.m. — Dharma Talk: The Four Noble Truths — Suffering, the Cause of Suffering, the End of Suffering and the Path to Freedom
Saturday, Jan. 4 at 9:30 a.m.-11 a.m. — Butter Sculpture Workshop, the monks will teach children and adults how to create traditional Tibetan figures and symbols made from butter
mixed with barley flour, as has been done in Tibet for more than 800 years. Pre-registration is suggested to ensure enough materials are available. Cost is $15 per person or $25 per family. To pre-register contact Barbara at email@example.com or 530-642-9654.
Saturday, Jan. 4 at 7 p.m. — Vajravadaran Healing Ritual
Sunday, Jan. 5 from 10-11:30 a.m. (part 1) and 2-3 p.m. (part 2) — workshop on The Six Destructive Emotions. A $50 donation is suggested for complete workshop. Plan to attend both sessions. Contact Barbara at firstname.lastname@example.org or 530-642-9654 to pre-register.
Monday, Jan. 6 — Cozmic Café closed
Tuesday, Jan. 7 at 6:30 p.m. — Life of a Monk: Slide show presentation on life in the monastery of Gaden Shartse and in the Tibetan resettlement community in India where
the monastery is located. There will also be an open Q&A with the monks.
Wednesday, Jan. 8 from 5-8 p.m. — Special Tibetan Benefit Dinner with a traditional Tibetan meal prepared by the monks, including vegetarian or beef momos (Tibetan dumplings),
salad, soup and tea. Cost is $35 per person. Seating is extremely limited, 35 people only. Reservations are required. Contact Barbara at email@example.com or 530-642-9654 to make a reservation.
Thursday, Jan. 9 at 7 p.m. — Chay Drol Ritual
Friday, Jan. 10 at 7 p.m. — Heart Sutra Ritual
Saturday, Jan. 11 from 9:30-11 a.m. —Teens and Tweens Open Conversation and Q&A with the monks. (Note: Teens and Tweens only to allow for comfortable environment for younger people to share with the monks.)
Saturday, Jan. 11 — Viewing of the mandala closes at 5 p.m. because of Tibet Cultural Performance in Cameron Park.
Saturday, Jan. 11 at 7 p.m. — Tibetan Cultural Night Performance at the Cameron Park Community Center, 2502 Country Club Drive, Cameron Park. A special performance by the monks of traditional Tibetan folk and sacred dances (including the colorful Yak and Deer dances), chanting, music and a demonstration (with audience participation) of the boisterous and very physical “monastic debate.” Cost is adults $20 and children $10 (12 years old and under). Advanced ticket purchase is recommended. Tickets available at tibetplacerville.brownpapertickets.com or upstairs in the mandala room at the Cozmic Café during regular mandala viewing hours.
Sunday, Jan. 12 from 10 a.m.-noon — Vajravadaran Healing Ritual at Mountainside Center for Spiritual Living, Placerville Town Hall, 549 Main St. in Placerville, from 12:30-1:30 p.m.
Community potluck lunch with the monks at Mountainside Center for Spiritual Living. For information on this event only 530-672-3119 or info@mountainsideCSL.com.
Sunday, Jan. 12 from 2-3:30 p.m. — Interfaith Ceremony: Love and Respect for the Earth and All Her People, representatives and members of Christian, Jewish, Native American, Buddhist and other spiritual traditions and faiths, along with the Gaden Shartse monks, will offer prayers and reflections on this year’s theme. All are welcome. Location is weather-dependent so check at the Cozmic Café or facebook.com/PvilleTibet for exact location.
Monday, Jan. 13 — Cozmic Café closed
Tuesday, Jan. 14 at 6:30 p.m. — Vajrasattva Empowerment
Wednesday, Jan. 15 at 7 p.m. — Dissolution Ceremony of the Sand Mandala, this dramatic and moving event is always standing room only. Come early if you wish to attend. We will also have closed circuit TV downstairs at the café to accommodate overflow.
For more information go to facebook.com/PvilleTibet or ourcoz.com (click Events). For additional background visit gadenshartseculturalfoundation.org.
For Cozmic Café regular business hours check www.ourcoz.com.