The Bentons Square Community Centre is decked out in Tibetan Prayer Flags and the hallway is has a section of beautifully created Mandalas adorning its walls. They bring with them the colours and thoughts and emotions of the Tibetan Culture.
Friday is almost finished, with chanting and mediation. An explanation of the Mandalas that create a sense of light in the hall gallery, painted by many, some students and some of the Buddhist order. They are bright and filled with light and colour. Some conveying compassion, there are peace mandalas and wall hangings of Buddhas light. Each is unique have symbolic meanings.
The Lama Lobsang Tendar has much spent of his time in a meditative space creating a mandala with sand. He tells me the Mandala he is creating is an energy mandala incorporating the 5 elements and 5 Buddhas; compassion, wisdom, determination, confidence being among them.
The Holy Hill in Nepal with Tibetan Prayer Flags, Flickr CC srr by Wonderlane
A mandala is created with traditional tools; when first asked what the name of the tools he used were, he first looked up at me and tells me they are "tools", with a smile. The tool I was asking about is a long silver object that the Lama scrapes or grinds the sand through.The sand is coloured and as it is ground it is used to create the healing mandala. I believe one name for the tools used is Char Pur.
An example of a Sand Mandala by SJL Flickr CC srr.
As he bows his head once more to concentrate on his work, I can hear the chanting from the CD playing in the background and feel the sense of the of the Tibetan landscape as the deep rhythmic tones of the Tibetan Monks voice resonates.
The Lama Lobsang Tendar will be at the Benton Square Community Centre this weekend with Anna La, a Nun and others who have been his students or are connected to the Tibetan culture.
Saturdays program runs from 10.30 am to 4pm and Sunday, meditation begins at 10.30am and the days events include a talk on Tibetan Culture, an introduction to the meaning of the Tibetan Symbols used in the Mandala and concludes with the Dissolution of the Sand Mandal. Where, the sand mandala created over the 3 days will be taken to Mornington beach and the sand from the Mandala scattered in the bay.
On both the Saturday and Sunday there are Tibetan Art Workshops for both Adults and Children. These are on between 11am and 2.30pm Saturday and between 12pm and 2.30pm Sunday.
Tibetan children in Nepal. Flickr CC by Wonderlane, srr.
Tibetan prayer flags, singing bowls, shawls, tops, jewellery and many of the Mandalas are for sale. The proceeds from the small shop are to help with the education and health care of the children in Eastern Tibet, in the Kham district.
I can see I have just begun to understand the smallest grain of this beautiful culture and people.