Day four with the Drepung Loseling monks in Library Hall…plus a performance at Strings Music Festival
August 17, 2010
Day four brought not only an increasingly rich and extraordinary mandala sand painting to the Bud Werner Memorial Library , but also an all-time record number of trips through the Library’s front door!
As the monks' fourth day of work comes to a close, the mandala edges close to completion.
It’s all in the details.
A careful eye will spot some especially tiny and animated elements woven into the mandala.
The closer you look, the more you will see.
If you peer especially carefully, you'll spot the tiny monkey figure swinging below an umbrella.
Note the delicate wheel design inside the orange pattern, representing the dharma wheel, with a male and female deer attentively at watch on each side.
How about this little snow lion dancing in the geometry of one of the four directional gates. There are eight of them holding up the gates throughout the mandala.
And a pair of eyes above sharp teeth, representing impermanence, peers out from the mandala gates.
After Library Hall closed for the night, the community moved down the road to the Strings Music Pavilion.
Hot ticket! This was a sold-out show.
The monks transformed the Strings stage into a vision of Lhasa, Tibet, with a giant mural of the Potala Palace -- the historic home of the Dali Lama.
The performance featured music, dance, chanting, a mock debate and lessons about the history and culture of Tibet…plus some fabulous costumes.
Dur-dak Gar-cham: Dance of the Skeleton Lords These are Dharmapala, or "Protectors of Truth," with the message to point the mind toward authentic being.
Seng-geh Gar-cham: The Snow Lion Dance -- In Tibet the snow lion symbolized the fearless and elegant quality of the enlightened mind. The playful, light-hearted snow lion gave the crowd ample opportunities for laughter.
After lapping up our attention, the Snow Lion offeried the audience an endearing wink…and world peace.
It's doubtful anyone will ever forget this dance...
As for the community sand painting….Steamboat just about wrapped up round four. It looks like the fifth day of the monks’ visit will reveal the fifth incarnation of our community sand painting.