LBindy_5.19.23 | Page 10

10 lagunabeachindy . com MAY 19 , 2023

Tibetan Monk Visit Inspires ‘ Flowers Within ’

By carly Sciacca
Last Mother ’ s Day Sunday , Geshe Lopsang Tseten , an esteemed Tibetan monk traveling from India , visited the South Laguna Community Garden Park as one of three stops on his 48 hour visit to Laguna Beach . It was the third time that Tibetan monks had visited the Garden Park to chant and offer blessings .
When I first saw Geshe Lopsang , he was taking a video of the garden with his phone , focusing on the bright flowers . He greeted me with an open smile and an egalitarian handshake and welcomed the visitors who gathered to see him , setting everyone at ease . He was to lead a walking meditation and a chant . Geshe Lopsang paused , looking over the lower slopes in full bloom and said that he wanted to talk about how the beauty of the flowers inspires our “ flowers within .” He said the Buddha always sits on a flower because it represents enlightenment ; the lotus depends on the mud of pain and suffering to produce the most beautiful flower .
People gathered around the stage as Geshe Lopsang welcomed the crowd and lovingly dedicated his talk , meditation and chant to his own mother .
He explained the practice of walking meditation and its usefulness as a way to remain in the present moment . Rhythmic , precise bilateral stimulation calms the system and urges one to slow down and focus .
He rose and began his careful circumnavigation , and the crowd followed behind . I found myself directly behind the monk and began to mirror his steps , slowly and softly gently touching the earth with each step . I noticed after time that this precise , intentional movement is much more difficult than the rushed , often sloppy walking we are accustomed to .
As we passed by the 52 garden boxes maintained by families or groups of friends that I and a handful of other volunteers are responsible for , I began to realize that this was a wonderful Mother ’ s Day gift , to have the permission to appreciate each gardener ’ s work , to be able to marvel at the emerging seedlings and admire the flowers and thoughtful decorations in each box . It ’ s a gift we should give ourselves more regularly , this permission to slow down and calm the mind .
Afterward , he spoke about the importance of teaching students how to be responsible and kind citizens of
the world , stating that this is the key to ending school shootings and damaging our environment . If we change our priorities , we can change the world . Geshe Lopsang believes this so deeply he has devoted himself to creating the Zanskar Girls School , which aims to educate women who he sees as the key to a better future .
He ended his visit with the chanting of the Green Tara mantra from memory , the same that the Dalai Lama instructed his followers to recite for protection during the turmoil of the last few years . The sound was beautifully rhythmic , at times guttural , and at times bright .
He addressed the crowd once more and answered questions before he settled at one of the picnic tables . I was happy when he said that the Garden had inspired him to make a garden at his school , high in the Himalayas . He asked me for advice on which flowers would grow best , and I promised to conduct some research and come up with a plan . Unfortunately , the mail is not reliable , and I most likely won ’ t be able to send seeds .
To visit the Zanskar Valley , one must fly 30 hours to Leh , then drive 26 hours



- May 20 , 202323

10:00 00 a . m . - 11:00 a . m .

Bluebird Park - 7222 Cress

Street , Laguna Beach

This event is offered by the City of Laguna Beach in partnership with Waste Management .
Compost Bins Compost bins and worms bins will be available for purchase at a discounted price . For questions , please contact the workshop instructor at ( 310 ) 874-2499 or via email at lisarydermoore @ gmail . com . Visit the City ’ s website at www . lagunabeachcity . net / recycling for future workshop dates and other recycling events .
Event is provided as part of the Franchise Agreement with the City ’ s solid waste hauler , Waste Management .