Day two with the Drepung Loseling monks in Library Hall

•August 15, 2010 • Leave a Comment

August 15, 2010

Crowds flowed into Library Hall all day, thanks in no small part to the monks landing on the front page of the Steamboat Pilot today.

It took a whopping 20 minutes for today’s enthusiastic sand painters to finish up yesterday’s work on the community sand painting.  With that, we whisked it away so we could begin again.

The community sand painting was still beautiful as a churned-up pile of colored granules.

Day two saw the near-completion of yet another version of Steamboat’s community sand painting with collaborative efforts of artists young and old alike.

No one is too young to sand paint at the Library...

...and certainly never too old...

...and the results are spectacular when the generations work together!

The monks have noticed that the community has made some serious strides in our sand painting skills, so they decided to up the ante on us for the next round.  After all, it appears that we’ll be sweeping another completed painting up to start again tomorrow. But this time, they’d like to see us create a colorful explosion of sand-painted letters around the border too…

Upping the ante...and showing us how it's done.

Alas, this is how the community sand painting ended today…

Day two, the end...with an assignment to make the rest of the letters match the monks' example tomorrow.

And now for the professionals…

The Drepung Loseling monks continue to astound everyone who enters Library Hall. While the monks work on the mandala sand painting, Gala Rinpoche has made himself abundantly available to visitors for all manner of questions and conversation.  (Coincidentally, Bud Werner Memorial Library is happy to note that Rinpoche once worked for the Loseling Library. No wonder he’s such a wealth of information.)

The monks toiled over minute details of the mandala sand painting for eight hours today.

By the end of the day, the mandala's design was edging into a new section of detail and patterns.

At the close of the second day, this is how the mandala sand painting lies…

Day two: stopping for the night.

Again, the detail is extraordinary.


Catching the glow of a Yampa Valley sunset.


A snippet of the opening ceremonies…

•August 15, 2010 • Leave a Comment

You asked for it! Thanks to George Danellis for sharing the video clips.

Check the videos out on the Bud Werner Memorial Library Events Facebook page. While you’re their, LIKE us and you can follow Library events year-round!

Day One with the Drepung Loseling monks in Library Hall

•August 14, 2010 • Leave a Comment

August 14, 2010

Opening ceremonies packed Library Hall and filled the air with an incredible energy brought on by the monks’ deep-throated chanting, the clash of cymbals and the vibration of their long horns.

Blessing the Yampa Valley environment and dazzling the crowd

Chanting over the colored sand.

The deep call of long Tibetan horns reverberates throughout the Library.

After the ceremony, the monks started the intricate drawing of the lines for our chosen mandala: Avalokiteshvara, which signifies compassion.  Preparing to lay down the sand required hours of delicate geometric calculations using a large compass, snap lines and rulers — laying down the outline for the mandala in chalk.

The drawing of the lines begins.

Lines got increasingly complex before the monks erased the segments that they will not need for the mandala design.

And the laying down of the sand began!

The monks mix their own sand colors starting from a plain marble sand. The nontoxic pigments will be harmless when the monks send them down the Yampa River on Wednesday.

The mandala's first sands...and the base for many layers to come.

The 10 monks took turns laying down layer upon layer of sand throughout the day. Sometimes, as many as four of them worked at once. Other times, when things got particularly delicate, only two would work at a time.

By the end of the day, minute details were being painted grain by grain.

The end of day one…where the monks left off.

Steamboat's mandala of compassion at the end of day one.

The monks have finessed the heart of the mandala to reflect subtle shading, astounding intricacy and three-dimensional elements.

And where the community sand painting left off…
It’s nearly completed by hundreds of enthusiastic kids and adults alike who skillfully worked the chakpurs all day long! We’ll be wiping it away so everyone can help recreate it again throughout the week.

The blank slate at the start of the day: Our community sand painting with the wonderful volunteers who learned their sand painting techniques first-hand from the monks so they can now help you!

The end of the day: Local artists embraced the ancient art of sand painting, nearly bringing Debi Champlin's design to completion.

Art of the Himalaya opens Friday at The Depot

•August 12, 2010 • Leave a Comment

This is a Steamboat Springs Arts Council and International Art Committee exhibit of art and artifacts  from Tibet, Nepal, India & Bhutan, all of which are on loan from local collectors.

We have received a wide variety of stuff depicting the art and culture of the region. Original photographs documenting people’s trips, including a trip to Mt Everest. Yak hair collars, bells, blankets and more indicating the significance of this animal to the region. Traditionally designed and hand woven rugs will line the floors sitting beneath hand carved tables. Statues of monks from as early as the 18th century, and gorgeous statues of bodhisatvahs and buddhas sit above the show, as in a traditional shrine the gods sit higher than everything else. Tea churns, tea pots, rice bowls accompany other items such as devil chaser puppets, traditional clothing and much more! – Rachel Radetsky, Art of the Hilmalaya curator for the Steamboat Springs Arts Council

Cross the Yampa River from Mandala on the Yampa and visit the exhibit at The Depot from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. daily,  Aug. 13-17.

Everyone is invited to a public reception for the exhibit  at 6 p.m.  on Sunday, Aug. 15.

Read all about it!

•August 11, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Check it out! The Library is featuring our collection's books about Tibet this week.

Bud Werner Memorial Library has a substantial collection of books, videos and audio recordings about Tibetan art, culture, travel, geology, mountain climbing, philosophy,  people, and more. The Library even has Tibetan folk tales available for check out from the children’s section. Take a few minutes to peruse the smattering Bud’s Tibetan reading selections on display in the main Library,  right behind the front desk.  A Tibetan-themed selection of books from our collection will also be on display in the entrance to Library Hall throughout Mandala on the Yampa.

Like something you see? Go ahead and check it out!

Paul Simon, the Beastie Boys, the Grateful Dead’s Mickey Hart…and now Steamboat: See Sacred Dance & Sacred Music at Strings

•August 11, 2010 • Leave a Comment

“Remarkable…the music and dance invoke sacred ecstasy.” – The New York Times on the Drepung Loseling monks’ performance

Sacred Dance & Sacred Music at Strings Music Festival on Tuesday, Aug. 17

The internationally acclaimed multiphonic singers of Tibet’s Drepung Loseling Monastery, who have performed to sellout audiences in Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center, will perform a one-night show at Strings Music Festival at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 17, as a highlight of their week-long residency creating a Mandala Sand Painting at the Bud Werner Memorial Library.

Endorsed by His Holiness the Dalai Lama, this live performance is intended to contribute to world peace and healing, generate a greater awareness of the endangered Tibetan civilization and raise support for the Tibetan refugee community in India. The Drepung Loseling monks are particularly renowned for this unique singing, and rich brocade costumes and masked dances add to the exotic splendor. The hour-long show features multiphonic singing, wherein the monks simultaneously intone three notes of a chord, accompanied by traditional instruments such as 10-foot long dung-chen horns, drums, bells, cymbals and gyaling trumpets.

Past collaborations with the Drepung Loseling monks have featured a wide variety of contemporary musicians, including Paul Simon, Philip Glass, Eddie Brickell, Natalie Merchant, Patti Smith, the Beastie Boys, and the Grateful Dead’s Mickey Hart. Two of the monks’ recordings hit the Top 10 on the New Age charts, and their most recent recording, Compassion, pairs them with the Abbey of Gethsemani Schola in an encounter of Gregorian chant with Tibetan multiphonic singing.

Their music was also featured on the Golden Globe-nominated soundtrack for Seven Years in Tibet starring Brad Pitt and they performed with Philip Glass in the live presentation of his award-winning score to the Martin Scorsese film Kundun. The monks have twice been featured artists at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival, and in July 2003 they represented Tibet in the Cultural Olympiad of Greece, a pre-Olympic Games celebration.

Reserved seating tickets cost $28 for adults and $14 for juniors, and are available at Strings Music Festival (970-879-5056 x105, or the box office).

Monks in the news!

•August 11, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Check out Mandala on the Yampa in the Steamboat Today. Here’s some more about the film that’s featured in the story:

And don’t forget…Blessings screens in Library Hall on Thursday at 6:30 p.m.

Blessings is a documentary film screening in honor of Mandala on the Yampa.
Thursday, August 12
6:30 p.m.
Library Hall
A Q&A with Steamboat resident Julie Green, who participated in the making of the film

About the film:
In the summer of 2005, renowned Buddhist teacher, Tsoknyi Rinpoche III, accompanied by a handful of Western students including local resident Julie Green, traveled to the Nangchen region in Eastern Tibet. The purpose of the trip was to document the lives and assess the needs of the Tsoknyi Nangchen nuns – 3,000 women who live and practice an ancient yogic tradition in nunneries and hermitages scattered across this remote, mountainous region. This is the story of their journey. Narrated by Richard Gere, the film explores the unique world of the nuns through the eyes of the Western women who visit them.

During the Cultural Revolution, all 40 nunneries of this thriving tradition were destroyed and the nuns scattered. Some returned to their nomadic homes, some were sent to work camps. Many didn’t survive. But a few retreated into caves to practice and wait. Twenty years later, this handful of remaining nuns emerged and began to rebuild. The film shows the reconstruction of the nunneries and explores the lives of the growing numbers of nuns who have come together and are now living and practicing together across Nangchen. The women speak about why they became nuns and what it is like to live a life dedicated to spiritual practice. The film shows the exchange between them and the Western women who have come to offer their help.

All donations at the door benefit the Tsoknyi Nangchen nuns.