Tibetan Lama Tenzin Tsundu escaped Tibet as a very young child under horrific circumstances, which claimed the lives of some of his family members while crossing the Himalayas to escape the Chinese and snipers during the invasion of Tibet in 1959.
Luckily he ended up in Dharamsala, India, where he began his extensive education and a life-long close association with His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
Also, luckily for us, he came to Canada in 1993 and taught for several years at the Kathok Gompa Clear Light Retreat on Vancouver Island.
After four years there, the Dalai Lama suggested he come to the Sunshine Coast to share the teachings, which he did last year.
He made his first visit to the Sunshine Coast in 2010 to build a green Tara sand mandala at St. Hilda's Anglican Church and do his talks and teaching by the request of the Spirit Dance Group, a charitable multi-faith organization in Halfmoon Bay. They first met Tsundu when he participated in their medicine ways: world healing ceremonies with Tibetans and First Nations in the Caribou in 2005.
Tsundu will be creating the sacred green Tara mandala at the Creek Gallery in Roberts Creek next week, which is painstakingly made by placing grains of colored sand in intricate traditional patterns, usually covering a circular area one to two metres in diameter. Depending on the diameter it could take four to seven days to complete.
When the mandala is completed, it is ceremonially swept up to celebrate the impermanence of physical creations. Some of the sand is given to the people present at the ceremony and the rest is taken to a nearby ocean or river where its blessings are dispersed to all the world.
The public is encouraged to participate by attending morning prayers and short teachings, and viewing the making of the mandala from April 7 to 13.
There is also an opportunity to meet Tsundu and talk with him during his breaks.
The opening ceremony is this Monday, April 17, starting at 10 a.m. Public viewing of the work is from April 7 to 11, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. The Dissolution ceremony is April 13 at 2:30 p.m. Admission to all of the events is by donation.
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