Sunday, July 13, 2014

The Toodyay trip June 2014

The Toodyay trip June 2014

On the morning of Sunday 22 June I received a telephone call from our friend, Nick Couanis, inviting us to come to Toodyay to see the final stages of the creation of the mandala by the Tibetan Buddhist monks which was being staged in the Toodyay Hall. There was to be a ceremony to celebrate the occasion and to see the final destruction of the mandala. We agreed to meet at 2.00 pm and met Nick outside the entrance to the hall. The monks had been in Toodyay for nine days and the mandala was complete.

Lexie and Nick looking at the mandala
The finished mandala
We went inside to see the mandala and it was magnificent. It had been painstakingly made by pouring coloured sand in the intricate circular design of the mandala on to a white table top. After viewing the mandala we joined the rest of the visitors for a talk by the lama or head man of the group, which was translated by another Tibetan man in blue jeans. The lama took questions and his answers were eminently sensible. He reminded us that things happen which we don’t have any control over and we just have to simply come to terms with them.

The lama giving his talk
The lama with the rest of the monks
After his talk, the lama was joined by the rest of his monks and he then led them to the mandala. The monks then proceeded to destroy the mandala by wiping the coloured patterns into a mound in the middle. The collected dust was then poured into a traditional urn. The point being made was the impermanence of life and the importance of savouring the moment.

The monks destroying the mandala
The monks taking the urn with the mandala dust outside
Having collected the dust the monks made their way outside and were led down the main street to the Avon River by the Shire President, who had just made a speech before we left, thanking the monks.

The monks marching down the main street
The Shire President leading the monks towards the river
The monks down by the river preparing to pour the mandala dust into the water
Down by the river the monks lined themselves up by the riverbank and one of them poured the dust into the river. They then chanted and played the horn.

Pouring the mandala dust into the river
Chanting after pouring the mandala dust into the river
We followed the monks back to the hall where they proceeded to pour the left over dust into little paper packets which they gave out to the visitors as a memento of the event. All in all it was beautiful occasion which was conducted with grace and charm. We really enjoyed our afternoon at Toodyay and will most likely go back next year to participate in the meditation lessons should the monks return to Toodyay as has been mooted.

Back in the hall the monks collect leftover mandala dust

The monks giving visitors packets of ther mandala dust as a memento of the event

We didn’t stay for the extra talks after the event, instead following Nick out to his house and property past the caravan park. His house is beautiful and we enjoyed a cup of tea and chat with him before driving back to Stoneville. We plan to go back in spring and I will most likely take my camera along and come back with photos of the trees and kangaroos on his block.

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