The more we hear them, the more we love them. The Gyuto Monks of Tibet with much loved leader Gen Lama Thupten Phuntsok have been invited back to Fremantle this month to demonstrate their incomparable ancient tantric cultural tradition and shower us with their love, compassion and humour.
The Grammy-nominated group will be appearing for two weeks from the evening opening on July 15 then daily through to Sunday afternoon July 28. Their visit will culminate in a concert performance 'Echoes of Enlightenment' that evening at Fremantle Town Hall. There's wonder and amazement as listeners hear female voices, whistles, layers of sound but it's all in the chanting of the monks, an experience of transformation unlike any other.
In addition to the chanting, sand mandalas, wonderful talks, meditations and rituals we have grown to love, this year we shall see the very rare creation of a three dimensional Green Tara String Mandala. This was traditionally constructed in Tibet only when commissioned by the government to avoid disasters and what we might term here recessions and instead creates prosperity.
Following Fremantle, the monks will carry on down to Mandurah Performing Arts Centre for four days then return to Perth to visit a number of schools.
It's been an eventful year for the Gyuto Monks as they accompany the Dalai Lama on his Australian tour, fitting in the Happiness Conference on the way. They'll be coming back to Fremantle after performing at the Glastonbury Festival in the UK to mark the 100th anniversary of the Tibetan Declaration of Independence.
In addition, they have just been signed up by the Decca/Universal music group, the world's biggest record company. Their forthcoming album, 'Chants: The Spirit of Tibet', is being recorded at the monastery in Dharamsala, in the foothills of the Himalayas, a two day journey from civilisation. It combines the Gyuto Monks' distinctive chanting and the finest Tibetan musicians, with the aim of transporting the listener to another world.
Find that world in Fremantle in July.