Art, prayer blend at Buddhist ceremony

By Kyle Magin. The, Jan 31, 2011

Nevada County, CA (USA) -- Flower petals, painted sand, and remnant drops of Sunday's rain drifted down from the Wolf Creek bridge into the tributary as a group of Tibetan Buddhist monks prayed for healing.

<< A group of Tibetan Buddhist Monks Sunday spread a mandala sand painting along with flower petals into Wolf Creek from the Wolf Creek bridge in Grass Valley. About 60 people showed up to watch the blessing and pray with the monks. Submitted photo by Terry Shearn

Garbed in traditional yellow robes, the monks were on hand at the request of the Tsi Akim Maidu tribe and Wolf Creek Alliance to pray for the healing of the stream. The monks are from the Gaden Monastery in southern India and have been touring the United States.

More than 60 people showed up at 9:30 a.m. to watch the ceremony.

The monks took painted sand from a mandala they worked on over the last two weeks at the St. Joseph's Cultural Center in Grass Valley and sprinkled it into the water while ringing bells and chanting.

“We thought Wolf Creek needed a lot of healing,” said Don Ryberg, the Tsi Akim tribal chairman who participated in the event. “It's a real honor for the tribe to be part of this; praying for the environment.”

Ryberg plans to invite the monks back yearly.

Trevor Ellerbe, a Grass Valley resident, watched the ceremony from the far end of the bridge.

“It's a pretty peaceful way to start the day,” Ellerbe said. “It's pretty cool to see this many people out here on a rainy morning. I think it speaks to how magnetic the monks are.”