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Buddhist Monks Visiting Laguna Neighborhood Congregational Church

Photo Credit: Richard Kalsow

Photo Credit: Richard Kalsow

Buddhist Sand Mandala Creation

from Drepung Gomang Monastery of Southern India

visit Neighborhood Congregational Church

November 5-9 2013


10 am – 4 pm Daily

Sunday, November 10


10:00 Worship

11:15 Processional to Beach & Dissolution Ceremony

 Neighborhood Congregational Church Sanctuary

340 St. Ann’s, Laguna Beach, CA 92651

We look forward to welcoming the monks!

Neighborhood Congregational Church, 340 St. Ann’s Drive, Laguna Beach is hosting the Buddhist Monks from the Drepung Gomang Monastery of Southern India, November 5-10.  For the last three years, the church has generously sponsored a visit from Tibetan Buddhist monks, providing support and housing, while also opening the church doors to the monks and their many visitors.   This year, The Chakra Shack is assisting Neighborhood Church in supporting the monks’ visit to Laguna Beach.

The Monks will start the creation of the Sacred Mandala on Tuesday, November 5, in the Neighborhood Church Sanctuary with an opening ceremony at 10 a.m.  Each day, the monks will begin and end with their unique trichord chant, a special blessing of meditation and worship to begin and end their work on the Sacred Mandala.

During the 10 a.m. worship service on Sunday, November 10, the monks will complete the Sand Mandala creation and assist Rev. B. J. Beu in leading worship in the Neighborhood Church Sanctuary. Following worship on Sunday, the monks and Rev. Beu will lead a processional to the beach for a dissolution ceremony of the Mandala into the Pacific Ocean as a reminder of our impermanence and a call to release our focus on attachment.

During the monks’ visit, the Church Sanctuary will be open to the public between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Tuesday to Saturday (till 3 pm on Friday) for people to observe the monks at work and meditation.  All are invited to visit, observe, meditate, reflect, admire, and pray during the creation of the Sacred Mandala.  There is no charge or admission fee for visits to the Neighborhood Church Sanctuary.

Several special events are also planned by the monks during their visit.  On Tuesday, November 5, they will present a 4 pm explanation of the Medicine Buddha Mandala followed by Dharma Talk.   Later that evening, the monks will bless Laguna’s Chakra Shack and lead a Dharma Talk, “The Four Noble Truths” at The Chakra Shack.  On Wednesday evening, November 6, from 7-9, the monks will offer Chanting for World Peace and Chod Puja, an ancient Tibetan Healing practice, in the Neighborhood Church Sanctuary.  On Friday night from 7-8, the monks will offer a Cultural Pageant featuring Mandala Prayer, Good Luck Dance, Chanting of Praise, and the Snow Lion Dance, in Neighborhood Church’s Bridge Hall (across the courtyard from the Sanctuary).

On Saturday, November 9, Neighborhood Church will open its Labyrinth in Bridge Hall while the monks continue the Sand Mandala creation in the Sanctuary.  The Labyrinth and visits to the Sanctuary are both open to all visitors and free of charge.

At 7 pm on Saturday, November 9, the monks will prepare and serve a Community Meal in Bridge Hall as a fundraiser in support of their monastery and ministry in southern India.  The whole community is invited to partake and enjoy this amazing evening, along with all of the events during the week.  Suggested donation for each special event is $15, all going to support the work and ministry of the monks, but observation of the Sacred Sand Mandala creation is always free.  For more information, visit www.ncclaguna.org or contact Pam Wicks at 949 573 7104 or the church office at 949-494-8061.

Neighborhood Congregational Church is an Open and Affirming congregation of the United Church of Christ, and welcomes all people to worship and participation.  The church is located in Laguna Beach at the corner of Glenneyre and St.  Ann’s, one block east of Pacific Coast Highway.  Free parking is available in the church parking lot across from Ralph’s parking lot at Cleo and Glenneyre.

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