Touring Tibetan monks return to Laguna Beach for blessings and mandala making

A member of the Tibetan Monks of the Drepung Loseling Monastery uses a peacock feather to bless a pa
A Tibetan monk uses a peacock feather to bless a parcel of the South Laguna Community Garden Park during a visit to Laguna Beach in 2016.
(File Photo)

A group of touring Tibetan monks will arrive in Laguna Beach on Sunday for more than a week of mandala making, meditation and meeting Lagunans.

Eight monks from the Drepung Gomang Monastery in India will visit Laguna after nearly a year of traveling the United States on their Sacred Tibetan Arts Tour. The visitors have invited the public to join their daily practice of Tibetan Buddhism, most commonly recognized by its leader, the Dalai Lama. The monks also will be available to bless homes, offices, galleries and churches.

This will be the monks’ seventh trip to Laguna Beach; they last visited in 2016. They will stay in a private home, but the events will be centered at the Healy House on the Sawdust Art Festival grounds at 935 Laguna Canyon Road.

The monks’ visit is supported by donations from Laguna Beach and other cities on their year-long tour.


Each morning and evening of their stay in Laguna, the monks will hold a chanting ritual. They will spend each day from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. working on a mandala, an intricate geometric figure made from colorful sand. On Feb. 3, the monks will dissolve the mandala as a demonstration of “the fleeting quality of this life,” according to a news release.

“Having them as our guests to share their art, culture and blessings is a marvelous opportunity for everyone in our community to learn about this struggling nation’s history, culture and Tibetan Buddhism,” organizer Pam Wicks said in a statement.

Here is the schedule of events:



10-11 a.m.: Opening ceremonies for the creation of the White Tara mandala

• 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.: Mandala creation

• 4-5 p.m.: Discussion of the meaning of the White Tara mandala


• 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.: Mandala creation

• 7-8 p.m.: Chanting for world peace and “Meet the Monks,” followed by a Q&A session. Suggested donation is $10.


• 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.: Mandala creation


• 7-8 p.m.: Tara and Guru Puja for good health, relief of suffering and purifying obstacles. Suggested donation is $10.


• 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.: Mandala creation

Feb. 1

• 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.: Mandala creation

• 7-9 p.m.: Chod Puja, a combination of chanting, music, prayer and visualizations accompanied by Tibetan instruments. Suggested donation is $10.

Feb. 2

• 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.: Mandala creation, children’s workshops, artist booths and displays, meditation garden and labyrinth


• 7-9 p.m.: Cultural pageant on the main stage at the Sawdust grounds, featuring mandala prayer, the good luck dance, black hat dance, snow lion dance and more. Suggested donation is $10 per person and $20 per family. Children younger than 10 are admitted free.

Feb. 3

• 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.: Mandala creation

• 1 p.m.: Mandala dissolution ceremony and procession to Main Beach

Feb. 5

• 10 a.m.: Blessing of the South Laguna Community Garden Park at South Coast Highway and Eagle Rock Way. Donations are accepted.

For more information, call Wicks at (949) 573-7104 or visit the Facebook event page