The Mandala Project: Dissolution Ceremony & Procession – Hammer Museum

sand mandala
The Hammer Museum, in partnership with Ari Bhöd — the American Foundation for Tibetan Cultural Preservation — is pleased to present The Mandala Project. This two-week program will feature the construction of a Tibetan sand mandala by a team of traditionally trained Lamas visiting Los Angeles from the Thubten Choeling Monastery in Pharping, Nepal. The mandala they create will be a sacred painting, following precise and ancient instructions passed down over thousands of years. Millions of grains of colored sand will be sprinkled carefully on a flat surface over an elaborate 10-day ceremony.

The mandala painting represents boundless compassion, purity and clarity. It is believed that mandalas have the power to transform negativity and awaken altruism and compassion in the viewer. Accompanying the sand mandala will be a series of architectural drawings of a proposed four story mandala for Ari Bhöd by Los Angeles based architect Michael Rotondi, as well as a smaller three-dimensional mandala, created by Pema Namdol Thaye, a master of Tibetan art. The project also includes a Hammer Conversation with Rotondi and Thaye, and culminates in a ceremonial sweeping of the sand and a concluding procession to the Pacific Ocean for the dispersal of the sand on November 7, 2010.

sand mandala 2
Photo courtesy of American Foundation for Tibetan Cultural Preservation.

The mandala is a profound, universal symbol that translates literally to “center and its surroundings” and is a physical representation of our interdependence, or the notion that everything and everyone is interlinked. Mandalas are found in many forms, but always include a circle, a central point, and some form of symmetry. They can be created in sand, on paper or cloth, or built as 3-dimensional models or buildings. The vivid painted mandalas of Tibet are the most widely known. There are only a few three-dimensional mandalas in the world, due in part to the large commitment of time and expertise needed to create them.

sand mandala 3
Photo courtesy of American Foundation for Tibetan Cultural Preservation.

Traditionally created as a tool for visualization and meditation, every single detail of a mandala—the design, the colors, and placement of symbols—is deliberate. The blueprints are considered sacred, with many layers of deep meaning and positive representation. Before beginning, traditional mandala artists generate the intention to benefit others and the motivation of compassion, which is believed to infuse the art or structure with unique spiritual and sacred qualities.

Photo courtesy of American Foundation for Tibetan Cultural Preservation.

Venerable Gelong Kalsang Rinpoche – Former Vajra Master of Rigdzin Drub-Pai Ghatsal, the retreat center of His Holiness Chatral Rinpoche in Nepal, Gelong Rinpoche will be leading the traditional ceremonies and creation of the sand mandala.
Venerable Lama Ngawang Thogmed – A master of ritual arts and a master mandala artist, Ven. Lama Thogme is often sought out to train many of the monks of the Nyingma and Kagyu lineages at monasteries throughout India and Nepal in the complex art of sand mandala making.
Lama Nawang Sampten Lhundrup – Master temple craftsman and ritual artist.
Lama Rinji Sherpa Tsewang – Assistant mandala artist.

Sun., Nov. 7, 1pm
Hammer Conversations: Michael Rotondi & Pema Namdol Thaye
Architect and educator Michael Rotondi is the principal of RoTo Architecture, an award-winning firm that creates unconventional structures that aim to dissolve the boundaries between design, science, technology, and the fine arts. Rotondi co-founded Morphosis in 1972 and was director of the Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc). A master of Tibetan art, Pema Namdol Thaye is renowned for his expertise in traditional Tibetan thangka painting, sculpture and the creation of rare three dimensional mandalas. For more the 25 years, Pema has provided a vital contribution to the world’s understanding of traditional Tibetan Art. All Hammer public programs are free.

Sun., Nov. 7, 3pm
Dissolution Ceremony & Procession to Pacific Ocean
The monks will perform a dissolution ceremony at 3pm, and at 3:30pm they will lead a procession to the ocean. All are welcome to join the dissolution ceremony and procession, but you will need your own transportation. Driving directions will be provided at the ceremony.

Ari Bhöd was founded by Venerable Lama Chödak Gyatso Nubpa to preserve the ancient Nyingma wisdom tradition of Tibet. The Nyingma tradition, known as the Ancient Onis the original tradition developed in Tibet by the great spiritual adept Padmasambhava in the ninth century. These teachings were preserved in Tibet in an unbroken transmission for more than one thousand years. Its benefits have stood the test of time, the methods proven effective in bringing forth positive qualities, especially altruism and compassion. It is our aim to preserve, in a living environment, all essential aspects of this endangered world heritage so that it remains a source of benefit for future generations of Tibetans and non-Tibetans alike.

Ari Bhöd’s mission is to preserve and transmit the priceless legacy of the ancient Tibetan Nyingma lineage tradition, a sacred culture of peace that has been kept vital and effective through more than fifty generations of lifelong practitioners and lineage masters. Ari Bhöd’s retreat center, Pema Drawa, is located on 475 acres in the peaceful mountains of Tehachapi, California. Pema Drawa is the site for the construction of Zangdok Palri U.S.A, a four-story monument to inspire compassion, transformation and peace. With offices in southern California, Ari Bhöd’s principle programs and activities include:

• Traditional Tibetan Art and Architecture
• Meditation Practice and Ceremonies
• Text Translation and Publishing
• Tools for Peace™, an education program based on the principle of mandala

The Mandala Project: Dissolution Ceremony & Procession – Hammer Museum.


in honor of our soldiers…please repost!

A good time to be reminded what it takes to enjoy our freedoms. . . .

When a soldier comes home, he finds it hard…. listen to his son whine about being bored.

….to keep a straight face when people complain about potholes.

…to be understanding when a co-worker complains about a bad night’s sleep.

to be tolerant of people who complain about the hassle of getting ready for work. be silent when people pray to God for a new car.

…to control his panic when his wife tells him he needs to drive slower be compassionate when a businessman expresses a fear of flying.

….to keep from laughing when anxious parents say they’re afraid to send their kids off to summer camp.

….to control his frustration when a colleague gripes about his coffee being cold.

….to remain calm when his daughter complains about having to walk the dog.

… be civil to people who complain about their jobs.

….to just walk away when someone says they only get two weeks of vacation a year.

….to be forgiving when someone says how hard it is to have a new baby in the house.

The only thing harder than being a Soldier..

Is loving one.

I was asked to pass this on and have gladly gone through the painstaking process of saving these images to my computer and uploading to my blog.

Will you please repost this or send the link to a friend???

Love is…70 years in the making!

Love is…crystal clear

I’ve always loved this cartoon strip by created by Kim Grove and Stefano Casali

if you’re a fan and want to see more

Thanks to my friend Jessie and her voracious reading skills, I’m able to share with you this super cute and amazing love story….

This is an incredibly romantic love story.

This is the kind of love story that kicks ‘The Notebook’s’ ass.

This love story gives people hope that soul mates do exist.

This is the kind of lifelong romance that proves that when timing doesn’t work out between sweethearts, sometimes the sweethearts just need to give it some time.

Beth Ashley and Rowland Fellows were childhood pals who spent summers in cottages in Maine and ran around a wharf and lived the authentic, romanticized life us newfangled modern kids tried to mimic in fancy summer camps in the Berkshires. They drifted apart, they married, they remarried, they bore children, they were widowed. And they found each other again 70 years later–both of them now in their 80s.

“Beth and I have been like two bookends, with almost 70 years of empty space between us,” Mr. Fellows said. “There’s a lot to catch up on, but we better do it quickly. We can always relax a little more toward the end.”
And this is why I love the NY Times Weddings section. Because out of every 25 or so stories about the MBA son of a Senator and a Mortgage Broker marrying the MBA daughter of a Professor of Political Science and a Lawyer, there is a story that is about love instead of graduate degrees. And this–this is truly inspiring.

Joel Page for The New York Times

Joel Page for The New York Times

To read the original article in the NY Times, click here

Click here to read more of my friend Jessie’s blog – Los Angeles: Strange and Unsober Journey

the truth about our STUFF…cutting down on clutter

I was trying to find my keys today and I had so much “stuff” laying out that I couldn’t find them for 15 minutes. Guess where they where?! Underneath a pile of JUNK MAIL!!!

Take a look at these interesting facts about the “stuff” we have in our lives…excerpted from No Wire Hangars

Each year, 100 million trees are used to produce junk mail.

Each year, about 100 million households receive 16.6 billion catalogs.

According to a study conducted by a Boston marketing firm, the average American burns 55 minutes a day looking for things they know they own but cannot find.

Americans toss out more than 100 million cell phones every year.

We wear 20% of the clothes we own 80% of the time. The rest hangs there, just in case.

Ikea did a survey of customers in which 31% reported that they were more satisfied after clearing out their closets then they were after sex.

About 3.5 billion wire hangers get dumped into U.S. landfills every year, according to the Hanger Network. Thats about 60,000 cars.

The National Soap and Detergent Association believes getting rid of clutter would eliminate 40 percent of the housework in the average home.

In the United States right now, landfills are filling up and closing at the rate of approximately 2 a day.

GURP contest – recycle your old flash drives for Mimobots!

My friends at Mimoco (the makers of my favorite Mimobot flash drives – the ONLY flash drives I use) are asking you to recycle your old and BORING flash drives that are just sitting around attracting dust. You probably have one of these lying around somewhere and wish it were something you used more often. Now you can RECYCLE it and receive discounts codes that are valid for a purchase of a new Mimobot! Watch below for a “how-to” video –

Mimoco is also asking you to continue to celebrate Earth Day (even though it was on April 23) by entering the GURP for Mother Earth (GURP4ME) contest that promotes recycling via Mimoco’s Mimobot GreenBot USB flash drive Recycling Program, or GURP for short. The GURP4ME contest challenges participants to submit a short, 60 second video that answers a simple question: “Show Mimoco how GURP recycles your flash drives.”

For every entry received, Mimoco will contribute to save 1,000 square feet of rain forest through the Arbor Day Foundation’s Rain Forest Rescue program. Mimoco and media partner judges at Cool Hunting, NOTCOT, and Inhabitat will choose up to 100 entrants to receive limited edition organic cotton Mimobot GURP shirts.
The GRAND PRIZE winner will receive two 8GB Mimobot flash drives of their choice! An Audience Choice winner, chosen by the Mimoco community, will win an 8GB drive of their choice, and 4 runner ups will each receive 4GB Mimobot drives!

There are so many prizes and so many winners – you have to enter!! Check out my Mr. TTT Rainbow Mimobot – I carry him everywhere.

Susan Feniger’s STREET makes me wanna EAT!

Friday night consisted of eating and eating and eating at Susan Feniger’s new restaurant called STREET.
I made a reservation two weeks in advance on opentable and thank goodness I did, because by the time we arrived, the restaurant was bursting at the seams with a line almost out the door at 8:30pm. For those who didn’t plan ahead, the wait was a minimum of 45 minutes.

We ordered drinks at the bar while our table was being set – a Godfather and a Singapore Sling. WOW – they were POTENT. Ten minutes later, we got sat outside in the patio right in front of a giant window that peered into the kitchen. It was like performance art!

window to susan feniger's soul...

window to susan feniger's soul...

We ordered the Kaya Toast (as I had heard Susan talking about it on Good Food with Evan Kleiman on KCRW on February 7) and had to try it. Homemade coconut paste spread on pieces of toasted bread meant to be eaten with a sunnyside up egg with soy sauce and radicchio and green salad.
appetizer - kaya toast

appetizer - kaya toast

Since there were only two of us, we thought it would be interesting to get the Globe Trot to be able to taste a bit of everything.
globe trot

globe trot

The following images are of the five courses that came with the globe trot that took us around the world to India (three times), Korea, and somewhere in the Middle East.
globe trotter  - course 1

globe trotter - course 1

We couldn’t really understand what the waiter was telling us these were but he told us to pour the sauce into the little crunchy morsels of goodness; we happily obliged and devoured them – no questions asked. Definitely an Indian influence of some sort…
globe trotter - course 2

globe trotter - course 2

These were fried trout fritters with yogurt sauce – Indian influence again – and piping hot too!
globe trotter - course 3

globe trotter - course 3

We hopped over to Korea with this salad of bean sprouts, cabbage, carrots, and tofu dressed with a tangy vinaigrette. Refreshing.
globe trotter - course 4

globe trotter - course 4

Then we flew back to India for a chick pea curry and spinach paneer with rice. Unfortunately, the spinach was a bit too fresh and still had some dirt stuck to it, which made it a bit difficult to eat.
globe trotter - course 5

globe trotter - course 5

Our final course took us to somewhere in the Middle East with a chicken skewer with the most amazing crunchy crusted skin!
dessert - egyptian cake

dessert - egyptian cake

For dessert, the house sent us this Egyptian sponge cake with fresh blueberries and lemon sauce to make up for the grit in the spinach paneer – it was light and sweet, but just enough to end the night on a high note.

Please click on the link for the menu (dessert is not included).

Here are a few pictures of the outside patio area and the inside of the restaurant.

outside patio area

outside patio area

looking inside the retaurant from the patio

looking inside the retaurant from the patio

And last but not least, a blurry and dark picture of me about to call a tow truck to tow me and my very full belly out of the restaurant!!

so full after all that delicious food!

so full after all that delicious food!

I highly recommend visiting Street – it’s an culinary adventure!

Your trip to heaven is departing in 25 minutes from the corner of Hollywood & Highland…

I want to share the posting of my friend Jessie about our “God Adventure” on March 22…I scraped her blog posting because she is such a wordsmith that it would be a shame to try and rewrite such genius-ness. However, please visit her blog for the illustrations to this posting as they are PRICELESS.

Sunday, March 22, 2009
Your trip to heaven is departing in 25 minutes from the corner of Hollywood & Highland…
These images are from a week-old adventure through LA, but they’re too perfect not to share. As Renee and I traipsed through Hollywood last Saturday, God seemed to follow us everywhere.

God actually started chatting me up the evening before as I drove to Home in Silverlake.

Then on Saturday, we were lured toward Hollywood & Highland, tourist Sin Central, where anti-war protesters were finishing a march along closed-down Hollywood Boulevard…
Beside the cops…

And the cops on horses…

God was there…

He had a sign. And he had buddies working to spread the gospel…

Including Jesus–the most righteous of all the costumed characters standing outside the Mann Chinese…

And some young zealots offering God money on the streets and some solid advice on getting to heaven.

Our conversation went something like this paraphrased nonsense…

Renee and I: So, what is this for? Does this fake money get us into heaven?
Young Zealot: Have you ever lied, sinned, or stolen?
Me: Yeah–have you?
YZ: Yes, but I’ve repented. You have to forsake it and humble yourself before God. If you put your faith and trust in Jesus Christ, you can get into heaven.
Renee and I: So, are we like, cool to get into heaven then cause we just took these god bills?
YZ: You can repent here or you can go home and do it.
Me: Is this going to be a problem if I’m Jewish?
YZ: If you’re Jewish, Jesus is your messiah.
Me: So…I’m, like, already saved then? Cool.

This is right around the time that our young friend called over ‘Pastor Steve’ to see if there were any bibles left.

Our righteous buddy kindly gave me the holy book, offered his email address and then…gave me back my pen because he “didn’t want to steal.” Oh, good Lord.

Even the Virgin store was selling religion. Here’s Renee with some ‘Lookin Good for Jesus’ skincare products. Virgin selling Jesus products?! Get it?! Puntastic, eh…

Saved, lotioned up and ready for Jesus. All in a day’s holy work.

The world’s smallest microwave that I MUST have – iWavecube

As I was listening to Pandora just now, I noticed an advertisement to the left of the screen:
Intrigued by the offbeat red color and its compact size, I clicked on the ad (which I rarely ever do)…

I am now officially obsessed with this gadget and want one in pink, naturally. It’s so clever.

“The world’s smallest and first personal microwave. Use it whenever and wherever you need microwave technology. Take it with you–it’s portable. The iWavecube takes up less than one cubic foot of space and weighs about 12 pounds. The iWavecube looks so good, its design is patented.”

Measures 10.5″W x 10″D x 12″H
Heating cavity is .3 cubic feet (8″W x 8″D x 6″H)
600 watts

A portable microwave….whoever came up with this idea should win an award for the most ingenius invention EVER.

On the site, it says coming in 2009:
+The world’s smallest toaster and convection oven combo. It’s the same size as the iWavecube.
+A personal refrigerator the same size as the iWavecube. Stack ’em or put them side by side.
+A personal refrigerator twice the size and capacity as the iFridgecube.
+The iFridgecube2 + the iWavecube + the iToastcube = the perfect gift for newlyweds or graduates from college.
I love that they already have a portable refrigerator and convection oven in the works!!

Box Eight stimulates Angelenos – LA Fashion Week revived by skin.graft designs!

It has long been thought by many jaded Angelenos that this city would never be able to have a proper fashion week with respected designers and enough energy like the NYC shows. After the skin.graft fashion show on Saturday night at the LA Theater, my confidence has been restored!
I wasn’t sure what to expect before I headed downtown to the show…I had heard from a friend who attended the night the Gen Art show the night before that it was very chaotic and disorganized. I also received a text from a friend inside the show to come “early” so I was prepared for the worst possible scenario – a giant crowd like at Smashbox and a pile up of cars in the valet. When I arrived, none of these scenarios played out – thankfully.
We were let into the venue without much delay and wandered around the beautiful theater. box8-lafw-09-0411
A fashion show was going on downstairs and since it was an open floor plan, one could see the show from a far or from the top of the stairs. There was such a diverse crowd of people! Trannies with wild outfits and mile high stilletos, goth kids, valley girls, Hollywood types, and even god forbid…normal people. It felt more like a giant party than a serious fashion show and that was the best part of all. There were no attitudes, no pretentiousness…just plan old love of fashion and support of LA Fashion Week. So refreshing.
The 10pm skin.graft show started around 10:15ish and a troupe of dancers came out on the catwalk and did some interpretative dances to set the tone of the show. box8-lafw-09-012
The designs were wearable and aspirational…my favorite piece of the show was this beautiful white outfit – a bit reminiscent of cross between Chanel x Givenchy…box8-lafw-09-031
Hooray for the designers of skin.graft – congratulations on a wonderful show! AND, we must not forget the fabulous ladies at PUREconsulting for their fine efforts at managing all PR and show needs!
Before we left, I had to take a picture of my beloved Paris Hilton look alike – who attends every LA Fashion Week wearing sunglasses…box8-lafw-09-040

DailyCandy x SLS hotel = Party Time

dailycandy-sls1It’s not often that DailyCandy throws a party so when one is invited, it’s imperative to attend!

There were plenty of delicious appetizers from the SLS hotel…the definite crowd pleaser was the guacomole pillow and the egg and mini hash brown duo:daily-candy-sls-party-0011daily-candy-sls-party-0022
Crystal Meers, LA Editor of DailyCandy and T.C. Conroy, life coach were both in attendance

Overall, it was a great party filled with loads of Pinky-infused drinks, fun friends, and the best tasting gift bag ever – i heart those Milk and Krunchies rice crispy treats with assorted fillings and toppings!milk-and-krunchies

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