Given that I’m a meditation teacher and the author of a good number of books and audiobooks on meditation, you might think that meditation should be the central thing in my life. But — and this is something I only just realized — it’s not.
I’ve carried around, not very consciously, the idea that meditation should be the most important, the most central, thing in my life. And I suspect that this mostly unconscious idea has led to inner conflict and resistance. Certainly, when I realized just the other day that meditation wasn’t and shouldn’t be the central thing in my life, I felt unburdened. I felt lighter, freer, and clearer. The notion that meditation … Read more »
Southwest Florida residents have the chance to see something few westerners ever get the opportunity to see — the creation and blessing of a sand mandala by a group of Buddhist monks.
Throughout the week, the group of five Tibetan monks will be at Unity of Naples building the Chenrezig mandala one grain of colored sand at a time.
Once complete, the sand painting will be blessed and ritually dissolved to symbolize the impermanence of life.
“This is the first time I’ve seen this being done live,” said Susanna Tocco, 36, of Naples. “It’s amazing — the precision, the patience. It’s …
The University of Redlands will welcome a group of Tibetan Buddhist monks from Drepung Loseling Monastery to campus from April 4-8, when they will be constructing a mandala sand painting.
To form an image of a mandala—a Sanskrit word meaning sacred cosmogram—millions of grains of sand are painstakingly laid into place on a flat platform over a period of days or weeks. Of all the artistic traditions of Tantric Buddhism, painting with colored sand ranks as one of the most unique and exquisite.
The mandala sand painting begins with an opening ceremony, during which the Lamas consecrate the site and call forth the forces of goodness. This is done by chanting, music and mantra recitation … Read more »
Here is a transcript of the interview the [Chico, California] Enterprise-Record did with Losang Samten, a Tibetan Buddhist monk, on Feb. 15.
E-R: How old are you?
E-R: What is a mandala?
S: It is a representation. It is the architecture of a palace which represents many things. A divine palace. From the Buddhist point of view (it shows) the different stages to the path of enlightenment. It is the universe, humanity, all of one individual’s positive qualities and all the things we need to purify from ourselves. There are so many thusands of mandala with different themes.
E-R: How long have you been making mandalas.
S: Over 30 years.
(The reporter conducting … Read more »
Once again, Lafayette [Indiana] is opening its heart to Buddhist monks touring America.
Eight monks started making a sacred sand mandala Thursday and will continue through next week at the Tippecanoe Arts Federation.
During the opening ceremony Thursday, the monks chanted a blessing for the colored sand. A horn, cymbal, drum and handbell were used to emphasize parts of the 15-minute ceremony.
Through a translator, Lobsang Dhondup explained the sand mandala, which is a Buddhist tradition using geometric designs inside a circle. The mandala is used for meditation and contains several Buddhist doctrines.
“The mandala is indispensable for the practice of Buddhism,” Dhondup said. “This is one of our spiritual exercises.”
A fundamental precept of Buddhism is the ability to reach Enlightenment – an awakened state of spiritual alertness – in a single lifetime. Avenues to this higher state of being include the chanting of mantras and the performance of mudras – ritual hand gestures.
Another path to Enlightenment, one often used in conjunction with mantra-singing and mudras, is meditation upon particular religious diagrams known as mandalas. These extremely complex rituals are usually taught and performed within the presence of a highly trained master. A select few of these original mandalas are now on display at a The Metropolitan Museum of Art in an exhibit entitled “Japanese Mandalas: Emanations and Avatars.”
At the very center of … Read more »
Ratnasambhava is, amongst other things, the Buddha of generosity. Danamaya explores the open-handed Buddha of the south.
In some ways, I may have known Ratnasambhava all my life, although I didn’t learn about Buddhism until high school, and then only from an introductory article in a comparative religion class. But looking back I can see all sorts of important themes in my life that got their start in little experiences long before. As a kid, I loved fairy tales, especially the Grimm Brothers. There were always buried treasures uncovered, or led to for someone who’d been set an impossible task who was a small, weak or humble person but who was actually a worthy, noble … Read more »
Meditation, as practiced by the 10 Tibetan Buddhist monks visiting IUP this week, provides “stability and calmness” and opens the potential of one’s mind, said Eleanor Mannikka, Monday’s Six O’Clock Series speaker.
“What powers your behavior is your mind,” said Mannikka, an IUP art professor and 25-year practitioner of Tibetan Buddhism. “All the minds that human beings have are the most powerful tools in the universe. Without meditation you’re using a small fraction of your mind.”
Buddhists practice the teachings of Siddhartha Gotama — the Buddha — who after six years of meditation about 2,500 years ago, found the “middle path,” or enlightenment, in his search for the ways to avoid suffering and be happy.… Read more »