The world has been impacted by a great pandemic. The COVID-19 coronavirus arrived in the U.S. in late 2019 and early 2020 affecting all corners including the city of Long Beach, CA where we reside. In early March, it was sadly decided that the doors would be closed to protect our teacher, the resident monks, as well as the students and visitors to our center.
The monks from the Gaden Shartse Cultural Foundation had just begun their 2020 Sacred Earth & Healing Arts of Tibet Tour only to temporarily suspend their activities in mid-March 2020 due to the pandemic. The monks' busy schedule was cut short and they returned to self-quarantine at GSTDL as per the state's shelter-in-place orders. The monks had been slated to visit Northern California communities in Grass Valley, Auburn, Placerville, and Norman, Oklahoma through mid-April. Tour activities included teachings, creating sand mandalas, and performing healing prayer rituals, and other consecrations.
While staying at GSTDL, the monks from both the tour and the residence decided to perform a 21-day Green Tara Puja and create a Green Tara sand mandala. Green Tara is the Mother of All Taras who, when called upon, dispels all illness, sickness, and misery to all sentient beings. The Puja and mandala were dedicated to all those affected, infected, and who have died from this dreadful virus as well as other general maladies.
Activities were live-streamed on the GSTDL’s Facebook page. The mandala creation spanned out for three weeks beginning in March 25 with its dissolution taking place on April 18. The monks also concurrently performed the 21 Tara prayer rituals and other liturgies to help overcome obstacles during these challenging times.
We are thankful to all who were able to participate and view many of our activities as well as those who provided donations during these difficult circumstances.
Once all stay-at-home orders have been lifted, GSTDL will be able to comfortably open its doors and resume back to activities as normally as it can. The Gaden Shartse Cultural Foundation tour group will also be able to hit the road and resume with its own fundraising activities. For more information on the resumption and rescheduling of the 2020 tour, please contact Lobsang Wangchuk at 562-225-3072 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. The monks' tour website can be found at: https://www.sacredartsoftibettour.org/
There was a requested for Medicine Buddha Puja and the creation of the sand mandala. This will start Wednesday, April 22, 2020 at 10am and can be viewed on GSTDL’s Facebook page via livestream.