by Wendy Kagan
The public is invited to join in some or all of the events during the monks' stay. Participants will be able to experience a Tibetan Black Tea Ceremony, meditate with the monks, receive a rare Medicine Buddha Empowerment, and witness the building of a sacred sand mandala. Families are welcome, and children can even participate in making a mandala with traditional mandala tools.
In addition, Geshe Lharampa Lobsang Chophel will offer teachings on Cultivating Compassion, the Medicine Buddha, Tibetan Sound Healing, and the Sand Mandalas of Tibet. Special guest scholar Robert Thurman will join him in teaching one or more of these classes. Guests can register to spend all four days in retreat with the monks, or come to the events they choose. The monks will also be available for private consultations.
The tour, blessed by His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama and sponsored by The Foundation of the Sacred Stream, is designed to raise funds to build a prayer hall, library, medical clinic, and additional dorm rooms at Gaden Shartse Monastery in southern India. The monks started touring the US in March 2014 and will continue into 2015.
All events with the monks at Menla have a suggested donation of $20-$40 (with the exception of the Sand Mandala Viewing with Children’s Station, and the Mandala Closing Ceremony, which are free). Donations are appreciated. Private consultations with the monks are $125/55 minutes or $65/25 minutes.