Mandalas are works of sacred art in Tantric (Tibetan) Buddhism. The word “mandala” comes from a Sanskrit word that generally means “circle,” and mandalas are indeed primarily recognizable by their concentric circles and other geometric figures. Mandalas are far more than geometical figures, however. For Tantric Buddhists, they are rich with symbolism and sacred meaning. In fact, the etymology of the word “mandala” suggests not just a circle but a “container of essence.”
Before a monk may participate in the construction of a mandala, he must undergo a lengthy period of artistic and philosophical study. In the Namgyal monastery, the personal monastery of Dalai Lama, this period lasts three years. Continue reading →
Sera Monastery (Tibetan: སེ་ར་དགོན་པ, Wylie: se ra dgon pa “Wild Roses Monastery”; Chinese: 色拉寺; pinyin: Sèlā Sì) is one of the “great three” Gelug university monasteries of Tibet, located 1.25 miles (2.01 km) north of Lhasa and about 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) north of the Jokhang Continue reading →
Ganden is located outside Lhasa on a tall, grassy mountain at 12,467 feet. While much of Ganden was previously destroyed, much of it has now been rebuilt. Ganden has great hiking. For those interested in a short hike, walk the short circumambulation route around the monastery. On the backside of the mountain on which Ganden is located are fantastic views of the valley far below. As Ganden is a sky burial site, vultures and crows can sometimes be seen circling overhead. Continue reading →
The roof of the world! It takes your breath away, literally! Stark, beautiful, spiritual. Theres something about Tibet, I wasn’t a very spiritual person when I went there. Tibet does that to you. The spirituality oozes into you With out you realising to. 🙂
Pretty amazing feeling! there are some beautiful monasteries in Tibet. Make sure to get these monasteries in on your trip. We had a wonderful guide Norbu who had in-depth knowledge about everything we asked. She was very flexible and we could do things at leisure… There was a general itinerary we had and did it our own pace.