Saturday, August 4, 2012

Bring On the Monks!

Monks! The Drepung Gomang Monks are in town! 

All the way from India and exile from Tibet. 

Right here, in Rochester, NY ... my hometown ... where I am lucky and thankful to not live in exile from my people, my culture, and my choice of religion. 

They are here to pray for healing and compassion. They are here to celebrate life and the amazing, wondrousness of it all. 

Most of all they are here to let us know our suffering does not go unheeded or without love and empathy. Unconditionally. From all four corners of the earth and beyond.

I'm over-the-top excited about this. Not only because I get a chance to see them make a sand mandala and hear them chant three chords at once, but because the Drepung Gomang monks are visiting a place near and very dear to my heart - The Creative Wellness Coalition

From 2000 - 2007, I worked there as the Impressions Gallery Curator (at what was then called the Mental Health Coalition, lovingly known as "The Coalition"). Now known as the Creative Wellness Coalition (CWC), the CWC is a non-profit, peer-run organization (meaning all staff has a personal experience with mental health issues) dedicated to helping people with mental illness live full lives. 

The gallery I curated exclusively exhibited and sold the artwork of individuals with mental health issues. That gallery was my heart and soul, and the artists I was blessed to represent are all amazing people with amazing stories of triumph through and over suffering. 

I cannot imagine a better place in town to have a giant celebration of healing, understanding, and most of all, compassion towards ourselves, each other, and this place in which we all must live together. 

Several of the events of this amazing visit have already occurred. I'm not on the ball with this post (or much else this past week with all the migraines). I guess I need some healing compassion of my own.

Today, Sunday, and Monday from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM the Drepung Gomang Monks will be building a sand mandala at the Creative Wellness Coalition. 

Click here for the schedule. 

Tibetan handcrafted merchandise from the Himalayas will be available for purchase. Bring a T-shirt and have it personalized with your name in Tibetan Sanskrit!

At 2:00 PM on Monday, August 6, 2012, the closing ceremony will begin. The monks will walk the sand from the mandala to the Genesee River in the middle of downtown Rochester. To symbolize the impermanence of all that exists, the colored sands are swept up and poured into a nearby river or stream where the waters carry the healing energies throughout the world. 

On Tuesday, August 7, 2012, there will be a Traditional Tibetan Soup Dinner at the Danforth Community Center, 200 West Avenue, Rochester, NY 14611. Monks and teen leaders will prepare soup in the afternoon and serve to the community beginning at 5:00.  Seating is first-come basis.

That's right! The Creative Wellness Coalition has everything from soup to monks! (Sorry. I couldn't resist.)

With that horrible pun (that will be making me giggle for a few hours at least), I leave you to cross everything else off your calendar for the next few days and go hang out with the monks. Yeah, I know Park Ave Fest is going on. The CWC is just a few blocks up N Goodman St from there! Anyway, it's over 95 degrees today. Go to the CWC where it's cool inside!

I'm hoping to spend much of Sunday there! Join me and let's share some loving kindness. And lots of hugs!

320 N Goodman St
Rochester, NY 14607

For more information call 585-325-3145 x 144

- Vickie

1 comment:

Chris said...

Hi Vickie, just stopping by to say how delightful your blog is. Thanks so much for sharing. I have recently found your blog and am now following you, and will visit often. Please stop by my blog and perhaps you would like to follow me also. Have a wonderful day. Hugs, Chris

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