Six Buddhist monks visit Rochester
Posted at: 08/01/2012 6:52 PM
| Updated at: 08/01/2012 7:08 PM
By: Joangel Concepcion | WHEC.com
It’s something you don’t see everyday in downtown Rochester. Six monks made their way into the area with the hope of inspiring young people.
The monks made their way from south India back in January. Since then, they have visited several colleges, universities and Yoga studios across the nation, teaching young people the importance of finding peace in the midst of chaos. Several students from MCC took advantage of the visit for many of our youth in Rochester; this visit couldn’t have come at a better time.
They came from thousands of miles away where they’ve been exiled for decades. They say they’ve lost their freedom. They say they are victims of violence, genocide, immolation, but even though all of their struggles, they’ve managed to use compassion, forgiveness and happiness to make it through.
But now these monks are taking their positive practices all over the U.S. This week, they landed in Rochester, in hopes of teaching a city that’s become rather violent to find peace as well.
Joel Guzman, inspired by monks, said, “If we look at that and start having that peace we'll kind of spread it around for the rest of us. They experienced genocide and immolation and violence just like we do but they have found peace, inner peace.”
Amelia Garcia is one of several students inspired by the visit. She says the monks can teach us all to find peace in the midst of chaos.
Garcia said, “I think that many people may benefit from coming down and learning about this and learning that violence and negative responses is not the answer to every situation.”
Several students say they never knew they could relate to Buddhist monks. During a short visit, they say they managed to find several similarities, but now these monks have taught them a different approach to dealing with any struggle. Lessons these students say they can spread to others who may need it through out the area.
The entire experience was sponsored by the Creative Wellness Center of the Mental Health Association of Rochester. It wasn’t just students enjoying the visit; people of all ages were there to take advantage of the peace celebration.
The monks will be here until August 11. They will hold several peace activities through out the area.
Saturday, Sunday and Monday August 4, 5, 6
Visit as the Monks create a sand mandala of Peace at the MHA Creative Wellness Center,
320 N Goodman Street (next to Village Gate)
Monday August 6-Noon to 2:00pm Peace March to the River
Monks and youths gather the sand and carry it in a Peace March from the Creative Wellness Center to slip the sand ceremoniously into the Genesee River. Youth take sand back to their neighborhoods as symbol of seeking peace.
Tuesday August 7-Danforth Community Center: 5:00-7:00pm
The Monks and youth prepare a simple peace soup supper and serve it to others for donations for the refuge and youth Peace efforts. After sharing their meal together, the Monks and youths bid each other farewell.
This experience is sponsored by the Creative Wellness Center of the Mental Health Association
Information: Veronica Weider 472-2322