ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — A unique cultural exchange has resumed in St. Petersburg after a pandemic interruption.

What You Need To Know

  • Schedule of events for the Sacred Arts Tour
    • Wednesday, Jan. 10, is the Meditation Ceremony
    • Thursday, Jan. 11, is the Tibetan Fashion Show
    • Saturday, Jan. 13, is the Rock Painting and Mala Making
    • Sunday, Jan. 14, is the Dissolution Ceremony

Once again, Tibetan monks from Drepung Gomang Monastery in India are here on a Sacred Arts Tour at Florida CraftArt.

During their last visit in 2020, the group created a sacred sand mandala for peace.

This year — it’s for wisdom.

Geshe Khenrab Chaeden is one of the eight monks visiting and his path to becoming a holy person was all about family.

Monks came to his town in Tibet when he was 11.

“The parents all love the monks,” said Geshe. That included Geshe’s parents too.

Plus, his older brother was already a monk, and his parents supported his decision.

Now, he is creating sacred mandalas for the community to witness. This year’s prayer is for wisdom.

The monks will work on the mandala all week, only to sweep the intricate design away on Sunday, Jan. 14.

The lesson? Life here isn’t forever.

“This is all temporary,” said Geshe. “Yeah, so impermanent.”

The monks also offer their religion to the public.

Used for meditation, Geshe says these singing bowl vibrations raise healing energy. And they also raise money for Geshe’s brothers in India for food, clothes, medicine and scholarships.

In return, the monks offer a piece of their culture, like rock painting or mala creation.

Their great hope is to paint our world with love.