SacredArts Research Foundation and Golden Drum will be hosting the Drepung Gomang monks July 31–August 5 for a week of events open to the public. The main event will be the construction of a sand mandala as well as many other unique opportunities to be with the monks. All of the events are by donation and for the purpose of bringing peace and an understanding of Tibetan culture to the greater community.
The monk’s visit is in honor of the life, dedicated service, and birthday of the Elder Brother, Sat Guru Dr. Jose Manuel Estrada, a teacher in the lineage of Maestro Manuel Rufino, recognized elder in the Taino tradition and visionary guiding the Golden Drum and SacredArts Research Foundation.
The purpose of the SacredArtTour is to share and preserve Tibetan culture which overflows with spiritually artistic expression. The monks bring teachings of ancient ways and beliefs that do, even now, create the possibility of global peace, non-violent conflict resolution, compassion, and wisdom.
The Monks will be creating a beautiful sand mandala and teaching a workshop on how to construct your own, presenting cultural pageant performances that include dance, song, chant and a fascinating example of the debate monks use to train their thinking, sharing teachings about the main tenants of Buddhism and meditation, leading a Puja/prayer offering, and presenting a traditional Tibetan cooking class and dinner.
The tour will take place at Golden Drum (97 Green Street, Suite G1, Brooklyn, NY 11222) and the SacredArts Research Foundation (107 Green Street, G55, Brooklyn, NY 11222). A full schedule of events can be found here.
Best Place to Quietly Sob Without Making a Scene: Newtown Creek Nature Walk
Nature can be therapeutic, but tears can feel even sadder amongst the frolicking children and happy couples in Greenpoint’s better-known parks. For now, it’s best to stick with the Newtown Creek Nature Walk, where you can sit in privacy on the concrete and cry among the rotten sewage like a lonely swamp beast. There’s something so poignant about the little clusters of plant-life flourishing in spite of such bleak conditions, if only your love had been strong like those plants. When you’re all cried out, stop at Eastern District to buy some beer and pickles for the walk home, because where has dignity ever gotten you anyway?
Every year, St. Stan’s Athletic League organizes a local 5K run which takes place throughout many of the major streets of Greenpoint to help fund their school program. Now in its 20th year, the “Get To The Point” 5K has gotten bigger and better with each round. All racers receive chips which will track their race time down to the millisecond, but not everyone participating will be tracking their time so fastidiously.
Having participated in two of the 5K runs myself, I can tell you what a joy it is to run along the empty streets of Driggs, Franklin and Manhattan Ave.. All traffic gets closed off of the race route (just as it does during the marathon in November) – that alone makes the $20 entry fee worth the price of admission. Even if you’re not a regular runner and are up for the walk, it’s a great way to experience Greenpoint that is not often possible.
In addition to the race, participants all get their very own “Get to The Point” 5K t-shirt and are welcome to attend the afterparty held at St. Stan’s gym auditorium. Food and drink are served at the afterparty (typically burgers, hot dogs and pizza – y’know – fitness food!) Last year, the Brooklyn Brewery donated a dozen cases of beer, much to the relief of the 21-plus racing crowd.
The afterparty is a trip in and of itself as the auditorium fills up with a wide array of local flavor and trophies get handed out for the winners of the race. In addition, they hold other contests for prizes donated by various local sponsors. The race manages to attract both young and old and the diehards from the North Brooklyn Runners. Registration can be done online in advance or on race day, though the cost is $5 more and you aren’t guaranteed a t-shirt!
I’m a big stalker walker. I am also a big sitter on my couch stuck to my computer. So much of my life and what I find inspiring involves discovery, which is why I love Greenpoint so much. There is always something new to find, a new place to eat, a weird sticker, a lost cat poster, a stoop sale, an idea, a photograph. The work for this website is endless and computer time can feel isolating and disconnected. So I walk because a website about Greenpoint isn’t about staring at a laptop, it’s about being part of the neighborhood in an active way.
I introduce to you: “Walks of Inspiration” (It sounds cheesy because it is cheesy!)