L’Auberge de Sedona is honored to host an intimate creekside lunch with Tibetan Monks
April 26, 2019

A Wellness Experience for Mind and Body

On this day of celebration and blessing, we are honored to host lunch with the Tibetan Monks as the Maitreya Sand Mandala has been completed and swept into Oak Creek.  Following the Disbursement of Sand Ceremony and blessing of L’Auberge de Sedona for the 35th Anniversary, a sit-down lunch with naturally immersive creekside fare will be served.  We invite guests of L’Auberge along with Sedona guests and locals to dine with the monks as we celebrate the positivity of the world.  Lunch will be served “family style” with selections highlighting the spring menus of Etch Kitchen & Bar and Cress on Oak Creek.  A portion of the price paid for lunch will be given as a donation to the monks’ monastery.

Meet the Tibetan Monks following their creation of a sacred Sand Mandala

Friday, April 26, 2019, at 1:30 pm

$75 per person, a portion of the cost will be given as a donation.

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The Tibetan Buddhist monks of Gaden Shartse Monastic University will be on tour in Sedona from April 18th to the 28th.

Sand Mandala

The Tibetan monks will be creating the Maitreya Sand Mandala (the Buddha of Love) at Unity of Sedona, from April 21st to the 26th. Maitreya is a Bodhisattva who has appeared and will appear on Earth when needed. His name is derived from the Sanskrit word “maitri” meaning “Boundless Love and Kindness”. Visitors may come to Unity of Sedona to watch the Sand Mandala take shape, to learn more about Tibetan art, or to just sit and meditate.

View the Sand Mandala

Opening Ceremony to begin at 2:00 pm on Sunday, April 21st.  Daily viewing the progress of the Sand Mandala, 9:00 am – 4:30 pm in the Unity sanctuary April 22nd-25th.  Closing Ceremony to begin at Unity at 11:00 am on, Friday, April 26th.

Closing Ceremony

L’Auberge will host the final Water Ceremony of the Sand Mandala when the monks will disperse the sand into Oak Creek as a way to wash away the negativity of the world. Following the water ceremony, the monks will walk throughout the hotel property and bless all parts in celebration of our 35th Anniversary.

Lunch “Family Style” Menu

Appetizers / Salads

Truffle Deviled Eggs GF – VEG
Black Truffle, Fresh Chives, Pickled Red Onion, Crumbled White Truffle Ricotta

Ahi Tuna Nicoise Salad GF
Fingerling Potato, Kalamata Olives, Quail EggsCherry Tomato, Haricot Verts

Achiote Pork Belly Sliders
Sister’s Shubert’s Bread, Tajin Aioli, Southwest Slaw

Chopped Salad GF
Fennel Salami, Toasted Pepitas, Fried Shallots, Brussel SproutsApple Cider Vinaigrette


Molasses Roasted Beef Ribeye GF
Sherry Vinegar Brussel Sprouts, Rosemary Beef Jus

Buttermilk Fried Sedona Rainbow Trout
Ramona Farms Roasted Pima Corn, Cotija Cheese, Jalapeno Chips

Mushrooms Ravioli Fricassee VEG
Porcini Mushroom Sauce, Roasted Fennel, Shitake


Chocolate Hazelnut Tartlets
Toasted Nuts, Chocolate Ganache

Passion Fruit Cheesecake
Oreo Crust, Passion Fruit Mousse

Espresso Profiteroles
Orange Mousse and Fresh Berries

Coconut Tres Leche GF
Caramelized Bananas

$75 per person, a portion of the cost will be given as a donation.

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Additional Mandala Details:

The creation of a sand Mandala is one of the most ancient and revered Tibetan traditions. Mandala means literally “world in harmony.” According to Buddhist scripture, sand mandalas transmit positive energies to the environment and to the people who view them. As part of their United States Tour, the Gaden Shartse Monks will be in Sedona creating a beautiful and sacred sand mandala from April 18th– April 26th.  The mandala takes a full five days of effort, completed by several monks at a time, including several Mandala Masters. Throughout the day, the public is invited to observe the creation in process, as a team of monks take part in this ancient ritual of building an intricate sacred sand painting.

A tradition dating back over a thousand years, these specially trained monks use metal tubes filled with colored sand, creating a detailed, two-dimensional sand painting.   Prayers are said throughout the making of the mandala.

Mandalas formed from sand are unique to Tibetan Buddhism and are believed to effect purification and healing. The Monks begin construction of the sand mandala by consecrating the site with sacred chants and music. Over a number of days, they fill in the design with millions of grains of colored sand. While constructing a mandala, Buddhist monks chant and meditate to invoke the divine energies of the deities residing within the mandala. The monks then ask for the deities’ healing blessings. At its completion, the mandala is blessed. The blessed sand is swept up with small portions offered to those present. The rest will be taken to Oak Creek where, after a short ceremony, it will be poured into the water to bless and purify the environment and all beings.

It is estimated that 80 hours or more will go into the making of the upcoming sand mandala. As you can see in the photos, it is a focused art form requiring the monks to bend over the table. Due to this, we have scheduled a few short days in the mix. The Tibetan sand mandala is characterized by its highly-detailed design and rich colors.  Representing a cosmic map of a specific spiritual universe, its symbols hold deep layers of esoteric meaning. Used as a sacred object of meditation, the sand mandala symbolizes impermanence or the transitory nature of our material world.

On an artistic level, the mandala is created with extreme detail and studied precision to produce a stunning visual effect. The sand is not an easy medium to work.  They lay each grain of sand down with the purpose of creating a larger vibrant vision.  The making of the sand mandala is a culturally expanding opportunity to watch a centuries-old art form being created today.

The mandala is multi-beneficial. It is a centuries-old tradition in sand painting intended to bring blessings for the benefit of all including L’Auberge, and it is a fundraising event to support their monastery.  Usually, 2-3 monks work on it at a time. There are 8 including a Rinpoche and a Teacher, both of which have education equivalents beyond Ph.D. (I sent the monks pics and bios to you last week.)

It is a rich cultural experience that focuses on peace, wellness, and healing.  The mandala is stunning! Grains of colored sand create a rich tapestry of images. There is an opening ceremony and a closing ceremony with monks chanting, etc. It’s exotic. In the end, they sweep it up and do a special water ceremony into Oak Creek at L’Auberge in which all negativity is transformed by the sand and water. (yes, the sand is eco-friendly.) Each guest present is also given a small packet of sand.