Buddhist Monks Create Art to Cleanse Negativity

August 3, 2008

Author: Melinda Mawdsley

Source: The Daily Sentinel


Grand Junction’s Ray and Peggy Pilcher invited six monks with the Gaden Shartse Monastery to stay in their home during the monks’ stay in Mesa County.

The monks are on a U.S. tour, raising awareness about Buddhism and donations for construction of a hospital to serve their monastery and other villages in southern India.

The monastery originally was built in Tibet, but Chinese occupation decades ago forced the Tibetan monks to flee to India.

The Pilchers, both Buddhists, have opened their home to the Gaden Shartse monks for the past 10 years, showing the monks the compassion synonymous with Buddhism.

Ray Pilcher said he has been interested in Buddhist culture since he was young, and his nearly four dozen trips to China and Tibet through the years only furthered that interest.

On Sunday, during a free presentation at Western Colorado Center for the Arts, the Tibetan monks demonstrated the precision and time that goes into making a mandala, which is believed to help cleanse negativity for those who view it, said monk Jangchub Chophel.