From September 3 through September 7, 2003,
six monks from the INSTITUTE OF HIGHER BUDDHIST STUDIES
– GADEN SHARTSE LHOPA KHANGTSEN visited Sioux City,
IA. They were here to raise money to feed the 200 monks
in their house called Gaden Lhopa (part of GADEN SHARTSE
MONASTERY now in exile in India). At the college, most of
the monks are Tibetan refugees with some being very young
and very old. The college strives to preserve Tibetan sacred
arts, philosophy and practice. Unlike other educational
centers of its kind, Gaden Shartse Lhopa does not receive
any grants nor funds from any government body.
The monks on this tour are:
LHARMPA GESHE NGAWANG LUNGTOK is the senior geshe and lama.
He was the teacher at the monestary’s school for over
Geshe Jangchup Sangye has also been a teacher at several
Geshe Lobsang Choedar has studied philosophical texts for
14 years and completed his monastic studies.
Gelong Lobsang Wangchuk is a fully trained in the art of
drawing and sand mandala.
Gelong Lobsang Lhundup is studying Tibetan literature, poetry,
painting and mandala drawing.
Gelong Lobsang Wangchuk is an American monk and veteran
of six tours.
The monks are on a fourteen month tour of
the United States. They return to India in February of 2004.
While in Sioux City they built a CHENREZIG sand mandala
at Levitt Gallery at Eppley Auditorium on the Morningside
Day One: Geshe Sangye said they did two days work
in one day.
That first night they also performed at Colton
Recital Hall at the Warren M. Lee Center for Fine Arts at
USD in Vermillion, South Dakota.
Lama Lungtok, 72, meets Frank, 94, of Sioux City.
Day Three: Lobsang delighted in telling school children
about the sand mandala building.
Day 4: The finished mandala just before dissolutionment.
Photo by Rano LoVan.
Day Five: UU children listen to Lama Lungtok's story.
[If you have pictures to share, please
Buddha – Prince Siddhartha became enlightened
under the banyan tree and became this.
Buddha literally means “awakened one”; a person
who has been released
from the world of cyclic existence and attained liberation
craving and attachment in nirvana.
Buddhism – followers of the teachings of Buddha.
There is no one Buddhism.
There has never been, nor is there now, a central authority
Buddhism. As Buddhism spread over a thousand years starting
years before Christ, it adapted to many host cultures and
case was shaped and influenced in flavor and style by preexisting
and cosmologies. And within each cultural sphere, many different
lineages and sects emerged.
Chenrezig — The Buddha of compassion. Chenrezig
practice is the main practice of the Dalai Lama.
Geshe – Doctor of Divinity in
Buddhist Philosophy; takes 20 years or more to attain
Nirvana – literally means “extinction,
blowing out”. This is the goal of spiritual practice
in Buddhism; liberation from the cycle of rebirth and suffering.
Sand Mandala — unique and labor intensive,
these mandalas are made of colored sand, ground brick, flowers,
and charcoal. The colors are chosen to match the color of
one of the Buddhas of the five Buddha families. The sand
must be poured very exactly. The sand is applied very precisely
by means of vibrating a metal cone that is filled with the
color sand and whose tip is removed. Finally, in upholding
the principle that life is transient, the sand mandala is
dissolved, swept up and either deposited in a river or given