After eight years, the Tibetan Buddhist monks have returned to Cal Poly for a week of enlightening and healing activities.
With the blessing of the Dalai Lama and the sponsorship of East Wellbeing and Tea Spa in San Luis Obispo, the monks are revisiting San Luis Obispo to spread peace at a time of great national division.
This week, students and community members can attend any of three lectures in the Julian A. McPhee University Union (UU) or at East Wellbeing on Monterey Street, watch the monks work on the sand art mandala every day in the UU and attend the sacred music and dance performance at 8 p.m. Friday in the Alex and Faye Spanos Theatre.
“I think that it’s very good for students to get a knock on the head that people are different, because this is a very homogeneous atmosphere here,” Programming Development Specialist for Cal Poly Arts Denise Leader-Stoeber said. “Their way of life is breathtakingly different.”
These monks tour colleges and other venues across the United States and are facilitated by temples or private individuals who want to spread peace. While only one of the monks on tour speaks English, much can be absorbed about their teachings and way of life by attending these events or visiting their booth in the UU.
The sand Mandala or Medicine Buddha is a special pattern intended for blessing and healing of the world. There will be a closing ceremony Friday at noon., where the sand is poured into flowing water to finish the blessing.
The sand will be poured into the stream behind Poly Canyon Village. A procession will be led by business administration senior and Cal Poly Arts student intern Delara Ostowari. Some of the sand will be given out to those who want to keep a part of the blessing forever.
“This is such a fractured time,” Stoeber said. “It’s really perfect to bring blessing and healing to the planet.”
The Robert E. Kennedy Library is also hosting a gallery on the second floor of local artist David Scott’s sculptures of realistic monk busts until Saturday.
To read more about the details of this week’s events, visit the ASI webpage.