Famous monks arrive

Chantelle Deacon

A world renowned group of Tibetan monks arrived in Penticton Wednesday as a part of a world tour promoting love, peace and healing.

The Penticton Art Gallery is hosting "The Mystical Arts of Tibet,” a globally recognized group of monks that travel the world spreading their culture. The visit's opening ceremonies was held on Wednesday.

"Penticton, here in this art gallery, our monks were here 10 years ago and this time is the 10th anniversary and the gallery, they invited us here," said Geshe Thupten Loden, Head Lama and spokesperson. 

The tours offer a rare opportunity to witness one of the world’s most ancient sacred traditions, but for the monks, these traditions are a way of life.

"During the course of making the mandala, the monks, they will maintain very mindfulness on the importance of its creation, which is to benefit the environment and the inhabitant as well," Geshe Loden said. 

The mandala of Akshobhya represents "unshakeable victor" for conflict resolution and peace. The Penticton Art Gallery felt it was a fitting theme to end their summer exhibitions, which explored Canada's relationship and history with its First Nations community. 

"For me to bring them to the gallery to do a mandala of healing and compassion I thought was a good way to close the exhibition but was also a good way to try and move us all forward as a community both indigenous and non-indigenous," said Paul Crawford, Director/Curator at the Penticton Art Gallery.  

The world tour, endorsed by the Dalai Lama, is an effort to make a contribution toward world peace and toward greater awareness of the Tibetan situation. 

"We believe by making the mandala it's going to benefit the nature and inhabitant," Geshe Loden said. 

Over the course of the Penticton visit there are multiple events that the community is welcome to attend. 

The closing ceremonies take place at 4:00 p.m., Sept. 17, with a parade starting at the Penticton Art Gallery and ending at the Penticton Ikeda Japanese Garden. 

For a schedule of events or tickets to any of the events visit the Penticton Art Gallery, located at 199 Marina Way. 

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