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Tibetan Monks Visit Omaha

Local art and Tibetan Monks grace the Omaha Healing Arts Center

Maria Koliopoulos, Graphics Editor

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The Tibetan Buddhist monks are back at the Omaha Healing Arts Center, September 7-15.

They’ve been visiting Omaha for around 25 years, and these particular monks are at the end of a two year journey around the United States. After a morning blessing of the Missouri River on Thursday, September 15, they head for India.

They’ve been brought here for the purpose of creating a sand mandala.
The sand used in the mandala consists of ground quartz, gemstones, and pigments. It is carefully sifted into an intricate design using a funneling tool called a ‘chakpur.’ The design this year is an ode to the White Tara, a Buddhist figure.

“The White Tara is a figure similar to Mary in stature; a divine mother of compassion, born of compassion,” says executive director of Compassion Omaha Mrs. Roxanne Wach. “She’d rather take on the suffering of millions than watch others suffer,” Wach continued.

In fact, the monks come here for compassion’s sake.

All of the money they raise goes to helping their brethren. Having fled from Tibet, the monks live in India, in a building that is much too small for them. They share rooms, with around four monks in each one. There are about 600 monks in the building, and it has only three bathrooms. By creating a mandala, they raise money for new housing and spread blessings as they go.

The Om Center is also currently decked out with local art as well, covering the peaceful space in art that projects the same message of love, unity, and compassion that the monks aim to promote.

On Wednesday, September 14, at 7:00 p.m., the monks will perform a final blessing before the mandala, which took so much meticulous work, is brushed away. The sands will be swept into small bags, and anyone who would like to can take some home with them for good fortune.

Watching the monks work on the mandala is an incredible experience, and one too rare to skip.

Maria Koliopoulos

Maria became a member of The Flightline in January of 2016. She is a senior this year involved in show choir at Skutt Catholic and is probably climbing a tree or drawing outside of school. You can email her at [email protected]

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