The concert I was going to tell you about yesterday before I got caught up in a rant…..was amazing, and as someone was heard to say, “powerful stuff”.
To start with, as their website explains: “Tashi Lhunpo Monastery, the principal monastery of the U-Tsang Province in Tibet, is one of the Great Six centres of the Gelugpa tradition. Tashi Lhunpo was founded by His Holiness the 1st Dalai Lama, Gyalwa Gedun Drup in 1447, and became the largest, most vibrant monastery in Tibet.” Today, the new Tashi Lhunpo monastery is located in South India where 300 or so Tibetan monks are in exile since the Chinese invasion of their country. If you click on the link, or here you can read about the monastery and its story, and also see better pictures than the ones I took – without the flash – at the concert.
The concert involved 9 monks demonstrating the chants and prayers they use on a daily basis within the monastery, as well as some of the ceremonial mask dances, which show off the beautiful masks and costumes. Each item we saw was described by an English commentator, given its title, and the reasons for the prayer, chant or dance, along with what the symbolism is for each
At the beginning of the evening after a loud introductory fanfare on the long horns,
ansHere you can see some of the beautiful masks used in several of the performances.
This I believe is one of the Lords of the Cemetery.
reincarnated into one of the lower orders! Several musical instruments such as bells, cymbals, drums and pipes are also used in some of the chants and prayers.
The sounds are alien to us, but are nonetheless…. enchanting, is that the word I’m looking for?. They are definitely very moving, and although the monks had said that they were comfortable with applause from the audience, somehow it felt the wrong thing to do.
Here’s the drum being hit with the curved stick while the monk also holds and plays the cymbals.
And at the end of the show, they came on stage once more in another ceremonial performance during which they sprinkled grains of rice (held in their left hands, see below) into the air. It used to be flower petals that were used but for now they used rice.
It was a delightful evening, when the soul really felt lifted!
Talk again soon.