Take it to the river

Closing ceremonies mesmerized an overflowing Library Hall crowd with Gala Rinpoche’s sage advice for peace and compassion, plus the monks’ resonant chanting, long horns, drum and other instruments.  After the swishing away of the mandala, the crowd spilled out of Library Hall,  each person having a small bag of the mandala’s sand in tow. The monks led us in a parade from Lincoln Avenue  to the edge of the Yampa River, where an even larger crowd lined both banks and the 13th Street bridge in anticipation of the river ceremony.

The monks were greeted warmly as they crossed the 13th Street bridge following the urn filled with mandala sand.

The monks chose a spot for the river ceremony below the natural Terrace Spring, directly across from the Bud Werner Memorial Library.

And the water ritual, the final mandala ceremony, began…

The evening was perfectly calm and the echo of the monks' instruments rippled throughout downtown Steamboat Springs.

The Yampa River provided a perfect natural stage.

And finally, the colored sands of the mandala made their way into the Yampa River, where they will flow to the Green River, Colorado River, and ultimately out to the sea.

Geshe Dhamchoe offered the mandala to the river. As he poured the sand in the water a beautiful yellow flower circled in its eddy, seemingly waiting for the river ceremony to be complete before continuing its downstream journey.

Thug Je Che! (That’s thank you in Tibetan)

Steamboat Springs offers our deepest gratitude to the Drepung Loseling monks for a spectacular and inspiring week in our midst. Your presence has enriched our community and blessed our beloved Yampa Valley.


~ by steamboatlibrary on August 23, 2010.

One Response to “Take it to the river”

  1. Thank you for documenting this amazing process – especially of the ceremonial aspects. I’ve seen completed sand mandalas but have never been able to participate in the ceremonies surrounding the process of creating and destroying them.

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