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Monks plan Glenwood stop on U.S. tour

April E. Clark
Post Independent Staff
Photo courtesy of austinphotography.comLobsang Jinpa Rinpoche is one of eight monks appearing in Glenwood Springs with the Gaden Shartse Monastic College's Sacred Earth and Healing Arts of Tibet U.S. tour.
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Before becoming a Tibetan Buddhist monk 15 years ago, Colorado-born Ven Lobsang Wangchuck dreamed of his fellow spiritual practitioners.

“I had been dreaming about them,” Ven Lobsang Wangchuck said by phone from Vail on Friday before scheduled stops in Glenwood Springs and Grand Junction, respectively, for the Sacred Earth and Healing Arts of Tibet U.S. tour. “They came to my house. I met the lamas, and I just liked them. Their minds are so subdued, and they don’t harm a living thing.”

The Roaring Fork Peace Coalition will host Ven Lobsang Wangchuck ” the tour’s director ” and seven other monks at 7 p.m. Sunday at the Glenwood Springs Center for the Arts.

“I’m the only Western monk on the tour,” said Ven Lobsang Wangchuck, who was born in Fort Collins and moved to California with his parents. “We don’t seek to convert anybody. Buddhism doesn’t do that. Just sharing with other beings is why we tour.”

The annual tour features dance, chanting, healing rituals and debate. Lobsang Jinpa Rinpoche, who Ven Lobsang Wangchuck said is one of few monks in the world considered a reincarnate lama, will speak on world peace and ecumenism. A peace ceremony concludes Sunday’s event.

“We’ll have ethnic music, and there will be a tea offering for world peace to bring harmony among all people,” Ven Lobsang Wangchuck said. “There will be time for questions and answers that children can understand and adults will enjoy.”

While children can attend the event at no cost, a $20 donation is suggested to support Gaden Shartse Monastic College, founded in Tibet in the 15th century and re-established on 84 acres of farmland in southern India after the original facility was destroyed.

“Several years ago, the Presbyterian church downtown was filled to capacity with participants and viewers, and the monks have been well received in other venues on this trip,” Jim Chenoweth, of the Roaring Fork Peace Coalition, said in an e-mail detailing the event. “This will be an engaging and inspiring evening.”

Ven Lobsang Wangchuck said the group enjoys its travels throughout the U.S., especially Glenwood Springs.

“We’re showered with kindness wherever we go in this country. Our primary fuel on the tour is kindness,” he said. “We have come to Glenwood Springs four or five times over the years and we remember the quiet, tree-lined streets off the main avenue. It’s just a beautiful city and we love the pool.”

For Ven Lobsang Wangchuck, travel is all in his Buddhist life’s work.

“I’m on the tour a lot. I’ve spent 18 months on tour and three months in India,” he said. “I really don’t have a home.”

Contact April E. Clark: 945-8515, ext. 518

aclark@postindependent.com


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