Monks Build on the Past

January 17, 2007

Author: Cameron Weston

Source: Star News Group

ANCIENT Buddhist dances and rituals were performed in Williamstown last week, in a captivating blaze of colour, sound and movement.

The Drati Khangsen monks, one of the largest congregations of Tibetan monks, living at the Sera Je Monastery in India, visited the Williamstown Mechanics Institute for three performances, part of a six-month Australian tour.

Seven monks performed seven dances dating back thousands of years, wearing spectacular costumes representing ancient mystical creatures and beings such as the Snow Lion, the Yak, the Skeleton, dances that contain deep spiritual and cultural significance.

The monks also constructed a sand mandala, a beautifully intricate pattern of coloured sand that contains graphic references to deities.

The mandala was constructed slowly over the course of the weekend, accompanied by chanting and prayer.