By Walt Gogolya
NEW HARTFORD, September 19: There are times when Jampa Tenzin, a Tibetan Buddhist monk, misses his home in India. Tenzin, a member of the Drepung Gomang Monastery in South India, has been in America for nearly a year as part of The Sacred Art Tour, he said Tuesday. This week, the tour brings Tenzin and seven other Tibetan monks to the Dae Yen Sa International Buddhist Temple and Meditation Center in New Hartford.
"(When people come to the Temple this week) it's a show of good relations between other major religions, and a show of respect between cultures," Tenzin said. "We're also hoping to make people aware of the situation in Tibet."
Tuesday afternoon at the Dae Ye Sa center, monks were busy working on two different Mandala sand paintings, one representing Buddhist medicine, the other Buddhist compassion. The mandala is painstakingly created on the temple floor by several monks who use small tubes and rub another metal object against the tube's notched surface to create a tiny flow of grains.
At the end of the week, one mandala will be distributed and returned to the earth for healing, the other will remain at the temple as a permanent display of spiritual art and healing, Tenzin said.
Some visitors to the temple Tuesday said they came out of curiousity, others said they came to show their respects to the visiting monks.
Those who visit the Dae Yen Sa Temple this week will have plenty to do. A full schedule of events between now and Saturday include mandala sand painting, healing and meditation ceremonies, silent prayer meetings and outdoor walking. Items are also available for sale at the center including Tibetan hand-made jewelry, incense, singing bowls, wind chimes, chanting CDs, prayer flags and T-shirts.
The Dae Sa Buddhist Temple is located on Kinsey Road, just off Route 202 in New Hartford. For information on temple events, call 489-3254.
The Sacred Art Tour began with on opening ceremony Tuesday morning and continues with events throughout the week, culminating with an authentic Korean dinner Saturday evening.
Walt Gogolya can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org