Tibetan Buddhism


Tashi Lhunpo Monks - Sand Mandala Creation

We are lucky to have a cohort of Buddhist monks from The Tashi Lhunpo Monastery, followers of his Holiness the Dalai Lama, with us for the duration of Wellbeing by the Lakes. Once part of a great monastery famed for its art, philosophy and music the Tashi Lhunpo monks are now based in southern India – but also travel the world celebrating Tibetan culture.

Attendees of the festival will get the opportunity to watch the monks as they create a colourful Wheel of Compassion sand mandala. This ancient Tibetan art form is exquisaitely intricate and takes millions of grains of sand which are painstakingly laid in place over a period of days. After the creation the mandala will be destroyed and the sand, which is thought to be very blessed, will be put into the River Frome, where the waters carry the healing energies throughout the world. 

Daily Prayers

Each morning from 10.00am -10.15am the Tashi Lhunpo monks will be offering their morning prayer next to the Chenrezig Mandala in the Barn Gallery.  All are welcome to join them.

Lama Dance Performance - Friday

On Friday evening eight Tibetan Monks from Tashi Lhunpo Monastery will peform a traditional and colourful dance to music : ‘The Power of Compassion’ presents chant, mantras, music and dance opening a magical window on to a world of reincarnation and Buddhist mysticism which has inspired audiences in theatres and festivals throughout Europe. From the contemplative, mesmerising chant of Buddhist texts to swirling costumed masked dances accompanied by ancient Tantric musical instruments, the Monks evoke the atmosphere of sacred Tibet: an experience of an ancient culture accessible to all, with introductory explanations offering additional insight into this endangered world.

Buddhist Art Workshops - 11am-12.30pm Daily

The Tibetan monks from Tashi Lhunpo Monastery will be running a 90 minute daily workshop to introduce you to the unique traditions of Buddhist monastic art. These include sand mandala making – ‘painting’ with coloured grains of ground marble – the printing of prayer flags and the delicate art of butter sculpture. You can learn some Tibetan language and make a dukar wheel which will be blessed by the monks to offer protection from negative influences.

Workshops cost £5 (not £25 as previously advertised) and are bookable in advance by festival ticketholders only

Gelong Thubten

Gelong Thubten is a Buddhist monk, meditation teacher and author. He ordained as a monk 26 years ago at Samye Ling Tibetan Centre in Scotland. He has spent over six years in intensive meditation retreats, the longest of which was 4 years.

Thubten specialises in teaching mindfulness meditation internationally, in businesses, hospitals, schools, universities, prisons and addiction counselling centres. He works with major global companies such as Google, Accenture and LinkedIn, he teaches mindfulness to medical students at the National University of Ireland, and he collaborated with Ruby Wax on her book ‘How to be Human’. Thubten is the author of ‘A Monk’s Guide to Happiness’, published in June 2019.

Lama Chodrak

Tony Chodrak has been teaching and presenting workshops on Mindfulness and Meditation since 1984 when he was ordained a monk in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition.

Being fluent in Tibetan, Tony has acted as interpreter for various Tibetan teachers in the UK and in India, most prominently Venerable Mingyur Rinpoche, author of the books ‘Joy of Living’ and ‘Joyful Wisdom’. He was Rinpoche’s secretary when he lived in the Palpung. Sherabling Monastery in Northern India for 4 years, acting as his interpreter both there and on all his UK teaching tours and during the writing of ‘Joy of Living’.

Guided Meditation - Daily

Both Gelong Thubten and Lama Chodrak will be running introductory meditation sessions throuhgout the festival in our sanctuary of stillness, The Retreat. During these guided sesions you will learn aspects of posture and a variety of techniques which will help you to work with your thoughts and emotions, enabling you to deal with the challenges and stresses of modern living. These sessions are suitable for complete beginners or people who would like to revisit meditation techniques understanding of the mind and increase your experience of natural peace, clarity and awareness.