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The monks of Gaden Lhopa have completed the seven foot sand mandala at the Los Angeles County Art Museum. The dissolution of this mandala occurred on January 4, 2004.

Monks | Glossary

photo of monks

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 20 years.
Geshe Jangchup Sangye has also been a teacher at several monastery schools.
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 College campus.

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 e-mail us.]


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 from desire,
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 in
Buddhism. As Buddhism spread over a thousand years starting ~ 500
years before Christ, it adapted to many host cultures and in each
case was shaped and influenced in flavor and style by preexisting rituals a
and cosmologies. And within each cultural sphere, many different paths,
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 to participants.


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