Monday, April 4, 2016

Recap of April 3 Khandroling Paper Cooperative Workshop on Writing the Six-Syllable Mani Mantra

[The Jewel in the Lotus]

On Sunday, April 3, a blustery and snowy day, a small group of us met to explore writing the famous Tibetan mantra--Om Mani Padme Hum Hrih with Dara Juels, a Tibetan translator who is married to a Tibetan and lived for many years in Nepal and studied at Rangjung Yeshe Gomde in California. Dara inspired us with her enthusiasm for the Tibetan language, in particular, this mantra so widespread among Tibetans. We look forward to working with her on other mantras, Tibetan language studies and drawing traditional Tibetan motifs of the five elements. 

We learned a bit about the origins of the mantra brought to Tibet by Guru Rinpoche and its function as a vehicle of Liberation through Hearing, Seeing and so forth. 

[Dara Juels]
                                                                                                                                                                     We also listened to several readings by Dara from commentaries on the famous mantra.   She left us with Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche's commentary on Patrul Rinpoche's extraordinary text. The Heart Treasure of the Enlightened Ones. 

After completing a demonstration of each syllable with brief explanations, we then applied ourselves to write the mantra over and over--each person deeply concentrating. 

[Brenda Lilly, a resident of Conway]

[Sheryl Jaffe who also took Tashi Mannox's Tibetan Calligraphy course last April]

[Here Sheryl is showing us some of Tashi's lettering of the mantra
]                                  Left to right: Amanda, Sheryl, Brenda, Dara]  

This workshop is part of a series devoted to the Lotus as a metaphor with deep meaning in many Buddhist cultures. Our Lotus Project is an international endeavor to preserve the historic schoolhouse in Conway, MA. As a gesture of goodwill, we are participating in the 2017 250th Anniversary of the town of Conway, MA by making a paper lotus float for the town's parade and handing out thousands of our handmade paper lotus blossoms.    

Recently, we began making wood blocks to print on our own paper. Our next project will be to carve the mantra to print for distribution.  

[Dara's beautiful free form mantra in gold on painted surface]

Brenda Lilly, our origamist, upon seeing the mantra written in the Lotus wondered if she could reduce our origami with eight petals to six petals in order to write the mantra on the leaves with the Hrih in the center. Here are the results--what she says, "see what happens on a snow day" when all the schools are closed for the day and teachers and students have the day off. All our members are artists, teachers and/or therapists who bring their expertise and passion to our collective experience.

[Six petal lotus with Six syllable mani mantra by Brenda Lilly]

[Six syllable Mani mantra on the Lotus with Hrih in the center y Brenda Lilly]


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