Tibetan cultural festival 2008 at Lake Tahoe | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Tibetan cultural festival 2008 at Lake Tahoe

Dave and Janet Arnett, For the Tribune

Come celebrate the vibrant cultural traditions of Tibet at Valhalla in the beautiful Tallac Historic Site just 10 minutes south of Emerald Bay at Lake Tahoe on Aug. 25-29 and Aug. 31.

Experience a wide range of events giving insight into the culture of Tibet. Immerse yourself in rich Tibetan tradition with friends and family. Ven Losang Samten, renowned Tibetan Scholar, spiritual teacher and artist, will return to Valhalla to teach and create a Medicine Buddha Sand Mandala, the centerpiece of the festival. Losang’s ability to incorporate the qualities of practicing loving kindness, patience, and understanding with those he meets has touched the hearts of many.

The purpose of this festival is to share and preserve the unique arts and culture of Tibet and to raise awareness of the situation in Tibet.

“Tibet has a precious culture based on principles of wisdom and compassion. This culture addresses what we lack in the world today; a very real sense of inter-connectedness. We need to protect it for the Tibetan people, but also for ourselves and our children,” said Richard Gere, Chairman of the Board of the International Campaign for Tibet

This event will be held on the southwest shore of Lake Tahoe at Valhalla in the beautiful Tallac Historic Site, just 10 minutes south of Emerald Bay and 2 miles north of the So. Lake Tahoe “Y.” This Forest Service property, managed by the Tahoe Tallac Association, is surrounded with beautiful beaches, picnic areas, bike trails, hiking trails, and campgrounds.

For more information about the festival schedule and other community events, go to http://www.nevadadharma.net or click on:

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http://www.nevadadharma.net/pdfs/Tibetan%20Cultural%20Festival%20PoSTER%207-23-08.pdf to view a colored poster of events.

For more information about Ven. Losang Samten, go to http://www.losangsamten.com

MONDAY, AUGUST 25 11:00 AM to NOON Tibetan Cultural Festival and Sand Mandala Opening Ceremonies The festival will begin at 11:00 am on the Valhalla lawn area with a traditional Tibetan ceremony that includes raising Tibetan Prayer Flags so the prayers can be carried by the wind. We will then move into the Valhalla Grand Hall where Ven. Losang Samten will perform a Medicine Buddha Sand Mandala opening ceremony. The Ceremony will include Tibetan ritual chants and mantra recitation. Valhalla Grand Hall, Tallac Historic Site, 10 minutes south of Emerald Bay. Donations Welcome.

MONDAY, AUGUST 25 Noon – 5 PM Tibetan Cultural Festival Ongoing Events. Enjoy authentic Tibetan food, meet Tibetan vendors offering jewelry, crafts, and art, and listen to Tibetan music on Valhalla’s lakeside lawn as Losang Samten begins the creation of the Medicine Buddha Sand Mandala in the Grand Hall. During the day Losang tells stories, teaches, and explains the meaning of the mandala. Everyone, including children and groups are encouraged to stop by. Donations welcome.

TUESDAY, AUGUST 26 11 AM – 5 PM Tibetan Cultural Festival Ongoing Events. Enjoy authentic Tibetan food, meet Tibetan vendors offering jewelry, crafts, and art, and listen to Tibetan music on Valhalla’s lakeside lawn. Join Losang Samten each morning from 11:00-11:30 in silent meditation. At 11:30 he continues to create the sand mandala by pouring grains of colored sand from a traditional metal funnel called a Chakpur. During the day Losang will also tell stories, teach, and explain the meaning of the Mandala. Donations welcome.

TUESDAY, AUGUST 26 7:00 to 9:00 PM Life, Death, and Reincarnation. Losang Samten will help us understand the process of life, death, and rebirth from the Buddhist perspective. “If we wish to die well, we must learn how to live well: hoping for a peaceful death, we must cultivate peace in our mind and in our way of life” H.H. Dalai Lama Suggested Donation $15. Valhalla Grand Hall.

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 27 11 AM – 5 PM Tibetal Cultural Festival Ongoing Events. Join Tibetan Lama Losang Samten at 11:00 in silent meditation. At 11:30 Losang will continue placing colored grains of sand into the mandala, taking breaks to teach and tell stories. Everyone, including children and groups are encouraged to stop by. The Tibetan Festival will continue with music, arts, crafts and Tenzing and Yangchen’s authentic Tibetan cuisine on the lakeside Valhalla Lawn. Donations gratefully accepted.

THURSDAY, AUGUST 28 11 AM – 5 PM Tibetal Cultural Festival Ongoing Events Enjoy authentic Tibetan food, meet Tibetan vendors offering jewelry, crafts, and art, and listen to Tibetan music on Valhalla’s lakeside lawn.

Losang will continue to create the sand mandala by pouring grains of colored sand from a traditional metal funnel called a Chakpur. Join him each morning from 11:00-11:30 in silent meditation before he begins on the sand mandala. During the day Losang will also tell stories, teach, and explain the meaning of the Mandala. Donations welcome.

THURSDAY, AUGUST 28 7:00 PM TO 9:00 PM Medicine Buddha Healing Meditation Losang Samten will lead us in visualization and guided meditation. Medicine Buddha is said to be the manifestation of the healing energy of all enlightened beings. Valhalla Grand Hall. $15 suggested donation.

FRIDAY, AUGUST 29 11:00 AM TO 5:00 PM Final Day of Tibetan Cultural Festival Ongoing Events and Final viewing of the Medicine Buddha Sand Mandala. Losang Samten will complete mandala today in preparation for the closing ceremony. He begins each day in silence with a 30 minute meditation. During the day will stories, teach, and explain the meaning of the Wheel of Life. Everyone, including children and groups are encouraged to stop by. Donations welcome.

FRIDAY, AUGUST 29 6:00 – 7:30 PM Sand Mandala Dismantling Ceremony. As part of a traditional Tibetan Ritual, Losang Samten will sweep up the colored sands to symbolize impermanence, then carry the sand to a body of water where it is ceremonially poured to disperse the healing energies of the mandala throughout the world. Valhalla Grand Hall. $10 suggested donation.

SUNDAY, AUGUST 31 7 PM – 9:00 PM Dorje Namjum Purification Ceremony Tibetan Lama Losang Samten leads us through an ancient Tibetan ceremony ritual of healing and purification for ourselves, others, the community, and the universe through prayer, meditation, and visualization as transmitted to him by His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Valhalla Grand Hall $15 donation recommended.

Venerable Lama Losang Samten, a renowned Tibetan scholar, spiritual teacher and artist, was born in Chungpa, near Lhasa, in Central Tibet. He and his family fled to Nepal in 1959 and later moved to Dharamsala, India. At the age of 11 Losang became a Buddhist monk and studied with the Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts. He later joined the Namgyal Monastery, the personal monastery of the 14th Dalai Lama. In 1985 he earned the highest degree at the monastery, a Master’s Degree in Sutra and Tantra, equivalent to a Ph.D. in Philosophy and Debate. From 1984 – 1988 Losang served as a personal attendant to His Holiness, the 14th Dalai Lama.

Losang came to the US in 1988 to demonstrate Sand Mandalas, an ancient Buddhist meditative practice of sand art. This was the first time this form of ancient Tibetan sand art was displayed to the general public. Since then, Losang has been commissioned to create Sand Mandalas at numerous universities, museums, schools and churches in the USA, Canada, Mexico, and Europe. In 1989 he founded the Tibetan Buddhist Center of Philadelphia, and later established other centers in Hartford, Connecticut, and El Paso, Texas. In 1995 Samten gave back his monastic vows and entered a lay practitioner’s life. In 1994, Losang received an Honorary Doctorate of Divinity from Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut and in 1995 an Honorary Doctorate of Art from the Maine College of Art. He was invited as a visiting scholar to teach Tibetan Language at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia from 1994-1997. In addition, Losang provided religious technical advice, and supervised the creation of a sand mandala for Martin Scorsese’s film Kundun, in which he played the role of the attendant for the young Dalai Lama. In 2002, Samten received a National Heritage Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts and the PEW Fellowship in 2006. For more information, go to http://www.losangsamten.com

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Donations will help to support the Tibetan Refugee Community and the Tahoe Tallac Association. Please help make this a successful annual event for the benefit of all.

Visit Losang’s web site at http://www.losangsamten.com

Schedule info: http://www.nevadadharma.net

Directions: Valhalla and the Tallac Historic Site are located on Hwy. 89, two miles north of the South Lake Tahoe “Y.” and 10 minutes south of Emerald Bay. For maps and information about Valhalla go to:

http://www.valhallatahoe.com

Information: Contact Dave or Jan Arnett at (530) 525-1900 or arnett@sierra.net for more information or to volunteer to help with the festival.