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Tibetan monks close peace ceremony by destruction of sacred mandala

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Students, faculty and staff celebrate world peace at Tibetan Buddhist closing ceremony.
Photo by Sameer Wahba/Cuestonian


By Stephen Kondor
Staff Writer

The exiled Tibetan monks finished their final day at Cuesta with a ceremony. The monks showed off a one of a kind peace mandala that was specific to their experience in California.

Mandala is a Sanskrit word meaning “world in harmony”, which is exactly what the monks were at Cuesta to promote, they spoke about the necessity of living a full and happy life with comfort and the importance of helping others do the same.

The monks were forced out of their monastery in Tibet by a Communist Chinese government.

The monks are promoting peace and prosperity on the central coast of California trying to raise donations and collect money through merchandise sales to feed, clothe, shelter and provide education to over 2000 monks who live in the Drepung Gomang Monastery located in Southern India.

Geshe Lharampa Lobsang Younten spoke through a translator to a full room about the mandala, what it represents and how the mandala is a slate that gets wiped clean when peace is lost and must be rebuilt to restore it.

Lobsang Younten showed gratitude to Superintendent/President of Cuesta Gilbert Stork and others in attendance by giving them a scarf of friendship and a special Cuesta emblem on a scroll.

Stork captured the beauty of the mandala best when he said, “The mandala is one of a kind, when these men wipe the sand away today there will never be another of its kind.”

The ceremony was concluded by the sweeping of the mandala sand to the center of the board to symbolize the impermanence of life.

Lobsang Younten also touched on racism and sexism when he said, “We have different skin color, our hair color is different, men and women are different, but we are same. We are brother and sister.”

In Lobsang Younten’s final words he stressed the importance of all religions, how they each offer something of value and there is no right or wrong religion.

Lobsang Younten joked, “For example some people like Starbucks, some people like pizza.”

The sacred sand was passed out to those who attended to spread peace where they need it most.

The remaining portion of the sand was taken down to the creek where the monks poured the sand into the creek to represent all of their prayers being taken to the ocean and their peace mandala bringing peace to the world.

The World Peace Mandala