Tibetan Monks at the Mariposa Museum

Tibetan Monks at the Mariposa Museum will create a peace mandala

A delegation of Tibetan monks at the Mariposa Museum and World Culture Center in Peterborough, April 12-17, 2016. They are from the Drepung Gomang Monastery in India. The monks will create a peace sand mandala, speak with visitors, and share information about Tibetan culture.  Special programs are also available for visiting school groups.

The monks’ 2016 Sacred Art Tour across the eastern U.S. is organized by the Tashi Gomang Dharma Center of Drepung Gomang Institute, based in Louisville, Kentucky.

The monks are visiting the U.S. as representatives of the Drepung Gomang Monastery in the Doeguling Tibetan Settlement in Mundgod, in the North Kanara district of Karnataka in South India. The monastery is also a monastic university, which along with centers in Gaden and Sera make up the three great seats of learning, contemplating, and practicing Tibetan Buddhism.

The Mariposa Museum, which has hosted the monks for many years over the past decade, is urgently seeking the community’s help in raising the $5,000 touring fee that the tour requires, 100% of which goes to the Drepung Gomang Monastery. Every size contribution is welcome. To participate, please visit  http://www.mariposamuseum.org. The museum acknowledges Waterhouse Restaurant in Peterborough for its generous donation towards the visit.

The Mariposa, at 26 Main Street in Peterborough, will be open for extended hours during the monks’ stay.

On the 12th, an opening ceremony will be held at 10 a.m.. On each of the following days the museum will be open from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. A closing ceremony will be held at 3 p.m. on Sunday, the 17th, which will include chanting and prayers, the dismantling of the mandala and procession to the river to release the remaining sand into the water, weather permitting.

Throughout the week, visitors are welcome to observe opening prayers, the mandala creation process, speak with the monks, and from time to time try their hand at the sand painting technique. School class visits are also welcome with special programs available. Tibetan handcrafts and ceremonial items will be on sale, with proceeds going to support the monastery and ongoing work of the monks around the world. Admission to the museum during this period is $10 for an unlimited multi-pass visit for adults, $9 for seniors, and $8 for children. A one-time pass is $6 for adults, $5 for seniors, $4 for children, with members free.

The visit of the Tibetan monks at the Mariposa Museum has become one of the  most popular events in the Monadnock region. “Over the years, the visit of the monks and creation of the peace sand mandala and prayers each year we are able to host them has become deeply meaningful to many people in our community,”  said Mariposa Executive Director Karla Hostetler. “It’s a chance to participate in a demonstration of peace and compassion that is urgently needed in our world.  We encourage people of all ages and religious beliefs to come and be a part of this unique experience.”

Each day  after 5 p.m., the monks are available to perform house blessings for members of the community for a private donation to the Sacred Arts Tour. Please contact the Mariposa for further information.

According to tour organizers, the purpose of the 2014 Sacred Arts Tour is four-fold:
1) To make a contribution to world healing and peace by sharing unique Tibetan Buddhist teachings, sacred religious performances, chanting, and Tibet’s unique identity, cultural treasures, and traditions.

2) To recognize that there have been great tragedies in every part of the world, and to share sympathy and prayers with others sharing the planet and a common future.

3) To generate awareness of the endangered Tibetan civilization and human rights abuses of Tibetans by the Communist Chinese since 1959 and to ask for help as the situation in Tibet becomes more desperate.

4) To raise support for the refugee monks’ community in South India for proper food, improvement in health and for providing better education facilities for the monk students, and in so doing to preserve Tibetan traditions and culture.

The Mariposa Museum and World Culture Center fosters peace, global awareness, and understanding across cultural boundaries through compelling exhibits, performances and programs, and regional educational partnerships. Its current featured exhibition, Rich Entel’s Cardboard Menagerie, will be up through May 30, 2016.

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