Saturday, March 4, 2017

That Day When Steve Met The Dalai Lama

I think this is probably the back of  Lama Tenzin Dhonden, a Buddhist monk, but not the Dalai Lama! lol.  1999, from my personal collection.

Yesterday my husband came home with some old pictures from 1999 from work.  One image showed him meeting a Tibetan monk, and Steve told our son Marc (with a typical mischievous glint in his eye) that it was a picture of when he had met the Dalai Lama.

Well, no.

Taste of Tibet (WE (San Diego Community College magazine "With Excellence", Winter 2000)

The San Diego Community College District was treated to a rare cultural event recently when three Tibetan monks turned the Mesa College Learning Resource Center into a showcase for their masterful artwork.
Working entirely from memory, monks tap out one grain of colored sand at a time through metal funnels to create the intricate symetrical design of symbols and figures.
Working entirely from memory, monks tap out one grain of colored sand at a time through metal funnels to create the intricate symetrical design of symbols and figures.
Toiling quietly, efficiently throughout the day for two weeks, the religious men created a sand mandala, literally one grain of brilliantly colored sand at a time. Thousands of people from on and off campus came to witness the event.
A sand mandala is a colorful, hand-crafted circular artwork that is said to symbolize man’s relationship with the cosmos. It is also a blueprint for a Tibetan palace.
At the invitation of Mesa, the monks began creating the mandala on Sept. 28, 1999, in the LRC lobby. Dressed in Tibetan garb, they began each day meditating, then, using hand-held tools, built an impressively symmetrical piece of sand art.
Every day spectators of all ages gathered, many returning more than once. Made entirely of brilliantly colored sand from the Himalayan Mountains, the artwork was completed Oct. 9. The monks created the mandala by using narrow metal funnels to drop the grains of sand into place. When complete, it measured 6' x 6'.
The sand art remained on public display until Oct. 15, when the mandala was swept up during closing ceremonies, then taken to the South Mission Beach Jetty and ceremoniously scattered in the ocean. Some 600 persons attended the closing ceremonies.
 An example of the construction and destruction of a sand mandala (not from the Mesa one in 1999).
The LRC gate count for the mandala’s three-week run was 68,264, more than double the normal building traffic.
The monks occasionally travel to the Western Hemisphere to create mandalas, used in Tibetan Buddhist ritual, as a way of promoting peace and familiarizing people with Tibetan culture, which is considered under threat of extinction.
“We are fortunate to have a relationship with the monks, enabling Mesa to provide a rare educational and cultural experience to our students,” said Pat Olafson, Mesa College Humanities Institute director, who coordinated the event.
That relationship began some eight years ago when one of the monks, Tenzin Dhonden, moved to San Diego and met Mesa College English professor Dorothy Berger, an expert in the Far East. He later enrolled in general education courses at Mesa and remained friends with Berger.

To be fair, Steve did film the sand mandala ceremonial disposal at the beach.

This must be the same kind of communication that has gone on forever between parents and their children, who often only half listen.  And why we sometimes think our ancestors did more exciting things or met more exciting people than they really did.

© 2017 Copyright, Christine Manczuk, All Rights Reserved.

1 comment:

  1. Wonderful. I loved that they used a cordless electric screwdriver to put up the plexi!