Seven Tibetan monks on tour from the DalaiLama’s Drepung Loseling Monastery in Karnataka, India, visited Whidbey Island to offer chant and sand painting on behalf of world peace. Staying on the beautiful Chinook Land (site of the Annual Gathering), they spent the day following their Whidbey performance strolling through the old growth forests and wandered, somewhat lost, through Jerry Wennstrom’s property. Jerry is an old high school friend of Deborah Koff-Chapin, the creator of Touch Drawing. A highly creative person, Jerry had built an elaborate sacred space out of an old carpenter’s shed and had recently constructed a beautiful meditation temple atop a modest water tank. It was a moment of divine surprise and joy for Jerry when he ran into the robed monks while walking his property. It was decided that they would come the next evening to his meditation temple and bless it. Jerry invited Deborah Koff-Chapin and her family to the blessing.
Deborah was excited at the opportunity to meet them again as she had just the night before been the Interpretive Artist during their performance. The Touch Drawings she created while they chanted and performed their prayer rituals had not been presented to the monks following the event. She carried these drawings and her Touch Drawing Kit with her to the blessing.
After the blessing, Deborah presented the drawings and demonstrated the simple technique of Touch Drawing. After offering the drawing board to anyone who would like to try, the head monk stepped forward and proceeded to draw a clear image of the Buddha. One-by one, each monk stood before the Touch Drawing board and created an image. While he drew, everyone else gathered around to watch. There was a free-spirited and playful air about them, smiles breaking out over everyone’s faces.
These Touch Drawings, along with Deborah’s from the performance on Whidbey, will be offered for sale to help benefit Tibetans in the Art for Tibet campaign taking place around the world. For more information about purchasing any of these drawings, please contact The Center for Touch Drawing: firstname.lastname@example.org.