Painting of the 8 Auspicious Symbols to Welcome H. H. The Dalai Lama

In the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, a highly respected lama is welcomed to a monastery by a painting of the Eight Auspicious Symbols in front of the temple or monastery.

For H.H. the Dalai Lama’s two visits in The Netherlands in 2009 and 2014 Carmen Mensink was asked to design, co-ordinate and paint this project & ritual. A big honour she was very grateful for.

Video and images of Carmen with her assistant and a team of her thangka students working on this 30 feet painting in 2014.

Five years before, in 2009, Carmen made a completely different design, a 17 feet tall, round lotus shape with 8 lotus petals and in each of the petals one of the symbols. Also this was created with a group of people the day before the Dalai Lama’s arrival. As it was painted with loose pigments, the rain would wash it away slowly in the weeks after the event (and it rains a lot in The Netherlands!), symbolizing detachment just like sand mandalas are destroyed after the ritual.

During this event, Carmen Mensink had the opportunity to offer some of her artwork to the Dalai Lama. He looked at it, asked her ‘Did you make this?’ and blessed it on top of his head before he brought it with him. An amazing experience!