sand mandalas

Yesterday I went to a fundraiser at the Unity Church of Great Hartford for the exiled Tibetan monks of the Drepung Gomang monastery in India. I haven't seen the sand mandala touring monks since the event at RISD 17 or so years ago which I blogged about here. I don't know if they were from the same monastery, but I was even more excited to find that they were showing people how to draw with sand, and letting the Unity Church community make 3 mandalas of their own, which they then swept up and poured into the earth (lacking a traditional river). They blessed a mala for me, and participated in a rousing session of "laughter yoga" and one of the Dances of Universal Peace led by my sufi friend Amina, both of which were a first for me too. And as if the day wasn't great enough, I followed it all up by trying a burger off the gluten free menu at the 99 Restaurant. Yes, a gluten free menu at a chain restaurant! What a day!

Photos from the fundraiser including the community made mandalas, and the stacked hats and robes of traveling monks.

I still can't believe my eyes!