Pinwheels for Peace by local students decorated our Center
Our International Day of Peace Event took place Saturday September 18th through Tuesday the 21st, 2010. It was a huge success and a wonderful event for those who attended. Peace and blessings were sent out to those who were unable to make it. We want to share some photos and recap all that took place.
- You can find MORE PHOTOS in the column to the right in the
IDOP PHOTO GALLERIES 1-5.
- You can find more photos on our Facebook page as well!
- See our page (to the right) on Poems for Peace too!!
INTERNATIONAL DAY OF PEACE has been celebrated on September 21st each year since its establishment in 1981 by the United Nations Resolution. In 2002 the General Assembly officially declared September 21st as the International Day of Peace. This effort encourages humankind to cooperate in acts of peace and provides opportunity for individuals, organizations, and nations to create practical acts of peace on a shared date. The Mandala Center wanted to act and become one place were people could gather to be part of this global effort. The Mandala Center provided a space for a variety of ages, races, faiths, and backgrounds to come together to celebrate our shared interest in promoting peace for the good of all. (www.internationaldayofpeace.org)
The Monks on our deck under the Rainbow that appeared one day!
Our special guests for the event were the monks from the Drepung Loseling Monastery (www.mysticalartsoftibet.org). These are genuine monks who are taking time off from their lifelong devotion of contemplation and study to participate in this tour (c0-sponsored by Richard Gere Productions) and share their cultural traditions. It is their hope to make some small contribution toward world peace through their teachings and art.
We asked the monks to come and create a sand mandala of conflict resolution – called Akshobya Mandala. It seemed appropriate for The Mandala Center to have a mandala created for peace and for the spiritual and creative process of this art to be dedicated on International Day of Peace.
Monks working on the Mandala the first day
Mandala in Sanskrit means sacred cosmogram. In Tibetan the art of the mandala is called dul-tson-kyil-khor, which literally means “mandala of colored powders.” This practice has roots extending back 2500 years.
The Monks performed an opening ceremony, a healing Buddha Puja, and a closing ceremony where the mandala was swept up – a reminder of the impermanence of life and an act to release the healing energy into the world.
Monks performing healing puja
The COMPLETED MANDALA
Rinpoche told us that the Mandala is like a road map – something for our minds to follow when dealing with negative emotions or situations in our lives. The symbols and images are teachings and guidance for how to let go our our attachments and how to maneuver violence in the world.
The monks study 5-7 years in preparation for this task. It is believed that the healing energy of the mandala is released into the world – and to those who view it and stand in its presence – regardless of our understanding. It is a portal – a visual prayer for peace.
The monks brought many blessings during their stay and The Mandala Center is very thankful to them. It was an honor and a pleasure to host them here.
Pinwheels for Peace in our Labyrinth overlooking Capulin Volcano
The monks were NOT the only attraction at our event! So much more took place!
Students from area schools and some adults made Pinwheels for Peace (www.pinwheelsforpeace.com).
More Pinwheels by Local Students
These are created by writing a prayer or poem for peace on one side and creating a mandala of peace on the other. Pinwheels are then created and placed outdoors to send our wishes for peace into the world!
We loaded our pinwheel photo on the international site – contributing to over 5 million pinwheels made world wide!
Peace Pole Unveiling on Sunday
Lori, Kim (and Anna taking photo) Planting the Peace Pole
The Mandala Center was graciously gifted with a Peace Pole – funds donated by Bob and Phyllis Stice. This peace pole is part of an effort beginning back in 1955 when Masahisa Goi dedicated his life to spreading the message “May Peace Prevail on Earth” in response to the bombings of Hiroshima.
The Mandala Center was also – synchronistically – gifted with a Declaration of Peace document by two guests, Jerry Bozeman and Lon Jones, who attended the memorial celebration in Hiroshima this August. Blessings were bountiful all weekend!!
Christina Boyce at our peace pole
Our Peace Pole says “May Peace Prevail on Earth” in four languages. Although there were many languages to choose from we picked the four that seemed to be most appropriate to our region. We have English, Spanish, Navajo and the fourth side has animal paw prints – for recognition of our relationship with the earth.
Rocks were piled at the base – testimony to our rocky and volcanic landscape and guests wrote prayers of peace on rice paper and placed them amongst the rocks along with flower petals and other offerings for the dedication.
Christina, an artist in our local community brought flowers on International Day of Peace during our peace pole meditation for peace on Tuesday.
One of our Labyrinth Walks
Our Event also showcased our Labyrinth – built on the grounds in 2002 – and we were blessed to have Dennis Grogan and Tina Proctor join us from Denver to lead several labyrinth walks during our event – including a night walk using solar lights and flashlights. It was a magical experience. For more information about labyrinths visit www.labyrinthsociety.org.
Hal teaching a group to play Harmonica
Hal Walker – a talented musician from Ohio also offered his time and talent to our event. Hal offered a harmonica workshop to guests and performed for us on Sunday night in concert. (see
Hal Walker in Concert - Photo by Tim Keller
Setting off on a morning hike
Our Center is surrounded by natural settings and parks land. We enticed rangers and guides from Capulin Volcano National Monument and Sugarite Canyon State Park to join in the fun. A hike, medicinal plant workshop, star-gazing talk, and conservation lecture were given. (Bruce Robinson, Patricia Walsh, and Lynn Cartmell)
Art as Meditation Class
Lori Coon, the Center’s director offered an “Art as Meditation Class” where participants explored the use of breath for wellness and painted their “inhalation and exhalation” with watercolors.
Lori also offered three sessions on the Seven Point Movement Meditation or Tslagi Dance of Peace as she was taught by White Feather at the Wolf Clan Lodge of Twylah Nitsch, Seneca Grandmother. The group, welcomed International Day of Peace at 7 am with the dance.
TO THE STAFF AND VOLUNTEERS!
I want to say a big THANK YOU to our wonderful staff – everyone worked hard and overtime to make the event a success.
A GREAT BIG THANK YOU to all our volunteers - As a volunteer YOU help support our efforts with your energy and enthusiasm and make things run smoothly for everyone! We could not do it without you. Everyone contributed in ways we could not even imagine ahead of time. THANK YOU!!
TO THE GUESTS AND SPECIAL PRESENTERS
We were blessed by everyone who walked in the door! It was an amazing gathering of people and everyone brought the gift of themselves to the event. The conversations and exchange of information, talent, and compassion was awe-inspiring. Our numbers were not large but our impact was immeasurable. I know everyone who was here will carry the experience in their heart and take it out into the world.
PLEASE VIEW MORE PHOTOS OF OUR EVENT RIGHT HERE ON OUR BLOG IN OUR IDOP PHOTO GALLERY PAGES 1-5.