A group of Tibetan monks is in Tulsa through Monday, July 31 for a Sacred Arts Tour. Unity Center of Tulsa is sponsoring several events starting Wednesday, July 26.
The monks of the Drepung Gomang Monastery are well-known for the art of sand painting but will also be leading yoga, meditation and prayer ceremonies over their six-day visit. It's a cultural exchange; they are learning about us and we about them.
This year's visit kicked off with a trip to Guthrie Green for Food Truck Wednesday. The monks held a short ceremony, chanting and praying for peace. Some folks watched and listened. Others meditated right along.
The Rev. Dr. Rick Belous is the senior minister at Unity Center of Tulsa, 1830 South Boston Avenue.
"We think it's important to welcome all religions and all looks on spirituality," he said.
The visitors seemed as curious about us as we were about them. They watched the kids play on the splash pad and made some new friends.
"We have things going on every day from sand painting to cultural events," Dr. Belous said.
An opening ceremony for the sand mandala creation will take place from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday at Unity Center.
Watch them as they create the mandala Thursday through Saturday, July 27-29. The monks can be observed from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. those days.
There are a couple of opportunities to practice yoga with them and just meet and experience someone new.
There will also be question and answer ceremonies, music and meditation sittings.
One of the monks said they bring a "message of love and peace and tolerance and unity and equality."
Who can argue with the need for more of all of that?