Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger doesn’t seem to be concerned with karma. At press time, his office said he had no plans to attend this Friday’s blessing of the state Capitol by six Tibetan monks. The monks of Gaden Shartse Monastery are visiting Sacramento for a two-week cultural exchange, during which, they have promised, they will lend their spiritual energies to a blessing of the California government. The monks will dress in traditional garb, play music and chant on the West steps of the Capitol in a ceremony from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., before being escorted into the building as guests of Sacramento Democrats Senator Deborah Ortiz and Assemblyman Darrell Steinberg. (Apparently, the legislators agree that a karmic makeover couldn’t hurt the budget crisis.)
Of course, you don’t have to be a politician to meet the monks. The public is invited to Friday’s ceremony at the Capitol and to a number of smaller appearances and talks around town. In addition, the monks will spend five days building a sand mandala at the Crocker Art Museum. The mandala, in the “medicine buddha” design, will be built one grain at a time and will take more than 75 hours to complete. The public is invited to witness the mandala’s creation daily from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. Feburary 24 through February 27. Admission is free, although donations for the maintenance of the Gaden Shartse Monastery will be gratefully accepted. To symbolize the impermanence of all things, the mandala will be dissolved in a special ceremony on February 28 at 3 p.m. The Crocker Art Museum is located at 216 O Street.
For a complete schedule of the monks’ whereabouts or to schedule a karmic blessing of your own, visit www.anandasacramento.org or call (916) 927-1486.