Monks’ sand mandala creation keys

Sacred work of art is just one of several events

A group of five Tibetan Buddhist monks, newly arrived from South India, are on a three-month tour of the West Coast to construct sand mandalas, also known as sand paintings. Their tour is called “Sacred Tibetan Art — The Sand Mandala: Creating a Picture of Universal Compassion.” The monks will be constructing the mandala at the Hood River Library Aug.7-10.

This project can be appreciated simply as a piece of “time-based art.” But, according to Tibetan Buddhist belief, the creation of a sand mandala is meant to create a profound experience of compassion. The positive effects of a sand mandala are believed to radiate out over an entire region, blessing the environment and the beings therein, as an effort for world peace. Once created, the sand mandala is destroyed in the closing ceremony, as a lesson in the impermanence of all life.

The opening and closing ceremonies include traditional Tibetan Buddhist chanting and music. The closing ceremony will include a procession to the Columbia River, weather permitting.

This event is free to the public; all ages are welcome to attend.

The Monks of Drepung Loseling Phukhang Monastery will build this traditional Tibetan Buddhist artwork in the Hood River Library reading room, starting with an opening ceremony Aug. 7 at 10.30 a.m.

The closing ceremony will be Aug. 11, 4 p.m.

For more information contact the Library District at 541-386-2535 or, or visit

For more information about Monks of Drepung Loseling Phukhang Monastery and their work, contact the Shakyamuni Tibetan Buddhist Center in Portland at 503-788-6465 or visit


Also at the library this week:

n Teen Book exchange in the library meeting room, Aug. 9 at 2 p.m.; bring a book you’ve finished and swap it for someone else’s.; grades 6-12 are welcome.

n Reptile Man at Hood River Library, 2 p.m. Friday, Aug. 10.

Richard Ritchey and his variety of snakes, lizards and turtles will appeal to young and old. (Sponsored by Friends of the Library.)

n Looking ahead: Grades 6-12 are invited to “Camping in the Forbidden Forest,” a Hood River Library lock-in, with games, crafts, activities, music and snacks, 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. Aug. 24-25.

Registration is limited to the first 18 teens; parental permission slips are available at the library.

n Bilingual storytime/LaHora de Cuentos Bilingue, 5 p.m. on Fridays/Viernes.

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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