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Blessing of the Gualala River

Eight Tibetan Buddhist monks from the Gaden Shartse Monastery in southern India returned to our coastal communities for the fourth time in May, 2011.

The monks are from one of three Tibetan refugee resettlement communities which were set up in India to accept refugees who were fleeing Tibet after the Chinese invasion of 1959, where over one million Tibetans were killed. Hundreds of monasteries were destroyed, including the original Gaden Shartse monastery. The monastery has now been recreated in India, and over sixteen hundred monks and nuns work and study there restoring ancient manuscripts, seeking advanced degrees, and hosting multiple festivals, seminars, and intermonastic philosophical meetings throughout the year.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama created these tours some twenty years ago and they have continued throughout Europe and the U.S. to support the government-in-exile as well as to provide much-needed funds to operate the monastery. With support donations a new temple has been built and an expanded medical facility has also been completed, which is now open to the surrounding villagers. Contributions are tax-deductible through the Gaden Shartse Cultural Foundation based in Long Beach.

On Wednesday, May 18, about forty friends of the Gualala River joined the monks on a walk to the river for a ceremony to bless the river’s watershed and all the creatures that dwell within it.

Gaden Shartse monks blessing the Gualala River, May, 2011

Gaden Shartse monks blessing the Gualala River, May, 2011

Gaden Shartse monks blessing the Gualala River, May, 2011

More information about the monks’ visit.