Monks bless Lismore show
VISITORS to this year's North Coast National in Lismore have the opportunity to meet the world-famous Gyuto Monks of Tibet.
The monks, whose meditation retreat is located in the Old Repentance Creek School at Rosebank, will be sharing their culture and rituals through chanting, meditation, public talks, culture sessions for kids and adults, and tantric art classes.
The monks will also build a Sand Mandala.
A fascinating ancient ritual, the Sand Mandala is an architectural structure, built by the monks from coloured sand, ground from rock from the Himalayas.
Once completed, it is dissolved and the sand taken, by the monks, to the nearest moving water and symbolically returned to the Earth. The remaining sand, which Tibetans believe has healing properties, will be given to people as a memento.
Maureen Fallon, director of Gyuto House Australia, says the monks' appearance at the show is part of the group's philosophy of connecting with the local community. For the past 15 years Gyuto House has been bringing monks to Australia where they stay for 12 months before returning to Dharamsala, India, home of the Dalai Lama, allowing a new group of monks to take their place. While here, the monks make a unique connection with the local community.
“The monks love it here, they say it is like a piece of paradise, and they spend a lot of time working with and for the community,” Ms Fallon said. “Their activities include chanting to raise money for emergency services, blessing local shops, conducting land-blessing and house-blessing ceremonies, and working with people in local hospitals and schools. The work they do with school children is quite amazing.
“It is not a religious program, it is a cultural program. It is about kindness, about recognising your own potential, and the potential of others. The monks show the kids techniques and tools for feeling good about themselves, and dealing with stresses and difficulties. It is very uplifting to see the effect it has on the kids and the teachers.”