Here’s the press release from Urban Dharma:
Urban Dharma, Asheville’s only downtown Buddhist temple, located at 29 Page Avenue (across from Grove Arcade) is celebrating its grand opening from July 15-‐22 with the construction of a sand-‐mandala and other related educational and spiritual events.
This grand opening week will provide a rare opportunity to experience the complete and traditional range and context of a sand-‐mandala. After the mandala has been completed, it will be placed in an elaborate shrine, followed by a 24-‐hour mantra-‐meditation and vigil practice (7/20-‐21, 8 p.m. – 8 p.m.), as well as a full vajrayana empowerment of the Buddha known as “Vast and Noble Heart” (7/22, 10 a.m.) initiating practitioners into this ancient meditation practice.
Ven. Khenpo Choephel Rinpoche, resident-‐lama of Three Rivers Dharma Center, Pittsburgh, PA, and Ven. Lama Konchok Sonam, head-‐lama of Drikung Meditation Center, Boston, MA, both of the Drikung Kagyu lineage of Tibetan Buddhism will construct the mandala and preside over events. Dr. Hun Lye, President and Founder of Urban Dharma, will also be on hand to contextualize the week’s proceedings and provide teachings.
Other events scheduled include a talk and workshop on the practice of mantra-‐meditation by Dr. Hun Lye (“Call of Compassion,” 7/17, 8 p.m.); a Q&A session with the lamas constructing the mandala (“Understanding Sand Mandalas,” 7/19, 8 p.m.); and the final dissolution of the sand-‐mandala and “Walk of Compassion” procession to the French Broad River (7/22, 2:30 p.m.). Follow the progress of the mandala construction at Urban Dharma during the week from 7/16 to 7/20 (10 a.m. – 8 p.m.).
All programs are free and open to the general public.
With a Tibetan ritual-‐art gallery and a public temple open to all, Urban Dharma offers spiritual, secular, and social programs on a weekly and seasonal basis. Its motto “Changing Minds, Transforming Cities” expresses the vision of living the transformative teachings of the Buddha in a contemporary context, building meaningful community, and integrating contemplative teachings into everyday life by providing a welcoming and educational space in downtown Asheville.
More information on individual events is available online at www.UDharmaNC.com or by emailing info@UDharmaNC.com.