Tibetan monks at the seaside
Tibetan monks from Tashi Lhunpo Monastery have toured the United Kingdom and Europe giving performances to packed houses and enthusiastic audiences over the past three years. I was lucky to catch them on the east coast this autumn. Amid lots of trumpeting and chanting the eight monks of the yellow hat order created a sand mandala. The intricate designs are made up with grains of coloured sand to depict the palace of the Buddhas. Once completed of the sand mandala, it is destroyed to illustrate the impermanence of existence and to release the Buddhas back to their realms. Sand from the finished mandala is distributed in flowing water, in this case the edge of the North Sea, so that its health-giving properties can be as widely spread as possible.