Tibetan monks return to Stanstead, events start tomorrow

STANSTEAD — Tibetan monks from the Gajang Monastery in India are returning to Stanstead, to spend the weekend creating a sand mandala, as well as taking part in various activities.

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The weekend program will start tomorrow, at 9:00 a.m. with a sacred chant to begin the mandala. All events will take place at 16 Notre-Dame O., in Stanstead, inside the old church next to the Granite Museum.

The sand mandala is a Tibetan Buddhist tradition involving the creation and destruction of mandalas made from colored sand. A sand mandala is ritualistically dismantled once it has been completed symbolizing the Buddhist doctrinal belief in the transitory nature of material life.

The daily activities will start Saturday and Sunday at 9:00 a.m. as well, as the monks then work from 9:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. on the creation of the sand mandala.

On Friday from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. the monks will also take part in a fire purification ceremony.

There will be a conference on Saturday at 3 p.m. called, “Finding Inner Happiness.” At 7 p.m. on Saturday the monks will conduct a chant.

On Sunday, at 1:30 p.m. a talk titled “Empowerment of Compassion,” will take place followed by the dismantling of the mandala.

The price of each event, ranging from $5 to watch the mandala construction, to $20 for the conference, goes to benefit the 2000 monks of Gajang.

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