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New Canaan's Silver Hill Hospital To Host Visit By Monks

Photo Credit: Contributed

NEW CANAAN, CONN. -- The Labrang Tashi Kyil Monks will visit New Canaan's Silver Hill Hospital on Sunday.

Silver Hill is the only psychiatric hospital to host the monks during their 2013 U.S. tour. The monks will build a sand Mandala, lead sessions for patients and host the public for the Let's Travel to Tibet program from 6 to 8 p.m. Sunday.

"In today's fast-paced click-through, turbulent world, the teaching from the monks about spirituality, mindfulness and compassion are particularly important," Dr. Sigurd Ackerman, the hospital's  president and medical director, said in a statement.

"Building a sand Mandala requires incredible patience and the ability to work together towards a common goal. We would all benefit from adopting some of their teachings, not just those who suffer from mental illness."

To construct the Mandala, the monks pour millions of grains of sand from traditional metal funnels, called chakpu, to build an incredibly intricate and delicate multi-colored sand design. They patiently work side-by-side to create this ancient Buddhist symbol of harmony and healing.

The public session, "Let's Travel to Tibet," features a yak dance, chantings, and the storytelling of the Tibetan holy man, Milarepa. Audience members will receive a Tibetan phrase and guide book.

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