Tibetan Monks at the Alster Lake in Hamburg
Sunday afternoon I was blessed to join a procession of Tibetan monks. Last week the four Geshes from the Sera Je monastery created a sand mandala at MARKK (Völkerkundemuseum) in Hamburg, Germany. On Thursday, I went to the museum to get a glimps of their work already. To me it seemed that it is a very meditative process to make the mandala. The monks created the mandala out of coloured dyed sand laid out into beautiful designs. It took four days for them to complete this mandala.
When they were finished, they wiped it all away in a ceremonial act. They let it all go, without pain or regrets. This is hapiness, just being in the present moment! The week before I already joined this ritual which was performed on open day of the new Tibetan Center in Hamburg-City.
I quite like the meditative sound that their tools make when strewing the sand. It is definitely something you do not see and hear everyday! It is a process that requires a high level of concentration.
Sunday afternoon was the time for the ceremonial dismanteling of the mandala followed by the ritual of releasing the sand into a nearby lake. Since the Alster is close to the MARKK, we went from there to Rabenstraße. On the way, the monks were chanting a mantra that sounded familiar to me though I could not remember the name. Later that day, I did a bit of research and found out that it was the Avalokiteshvara Mantra which calls on the Buddha of compassion. I like the soothing yet uplifting sound of this mantra.
At the pier Rabenstraße the monks performed the ceremomial act accompanying the finaly dissolution of the mandala. The Geshes chanted in Tibetan language and unfortunately I did not know the meaning of their chanting but it was a wholesome event with a lot of positive energy.
After releasing the sand into the Alster, we had the opportunity to thank the Geshes and take pictures of them.
Finally, I may say that I’ve felt very happy to have joined the four Geshes in Hamburg. These are one of the rare spiritual (Buddhist) events over here, Even though coming from another Buddhist tradition, I really appreciate the opportunity to get to know more about Tibetan Buddhism in general.