Tibetan monks return to Laguna after five-year hiatus


After a five-year hiatus, the Drepung Gomang monks of India returned to Laguna Beach on April 14 to 21 for their Sacred Tibetan Arts Tour. During their stay, the seven monks constructed a sand mandala at the Sawdust Festival’s Healy House.

Photo by Mitch Ridder

The mandala is an intricate design made from fine, multi-colored sand. The monks sang their unique trichord chanting at the beginning and end of each day, performed blessings to conjure positive energy at homes and businesses, and presented pujas during their stay. Pujas are stylized rituals that combine chanting, music, prayer, and visualizations using Tibetan instruments and multi-tonal singing.

The holy men are scholars from Tibet’s oldest monastery and direct disciples of His Holiness, The Dalai Lama.

The seven scholars from southern India are traveling in a van across the country to share their culture and art and to offer positivity to all they meet. Donations offered them along the way supports the more than 2,000 monks, from young children to older Tibetans, back home at their large monastery.

Photo by Mitch Ridder
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