EDMONTON -- Kushok Lobsang Dhamcho has been practicing Tibetan Buddhism culture every minute of every day here in our city for nearly three decades. His sanctuary is the Gaden Samten Ling temple located just off 114 Avenue and 1010 Street in the downtown core.

Meditation is a huge part of the Tibetan Buddhist culture, and these days Dhamcho is a man on a mission, encouraging others to try the calming technique in response to stress associated with COVID-19.

“During the pandemic time now a days 2019 and 2020, people are so worried. When you meditate, it’s unbelievably peaceful. You release all the stress and all the negative emotion,” he said.

As well as reaping the mental health benefits, the monk wants to ensure Edmontonians can experience a taste of his culture. With some extra time on his hands and with the help of some of his closest friends, he’s been spending more time in the kitchen—handcrafting traditional Tibetan dumplings.

Timmie Horvath, organizer of Edmonton’s Annual Tibetan Bazaar, is excited about the dumplings and describes them as nothing short of delicious. She’s proud of a new recipe they’ve brought to life this year, one that gives people a vegetarian option to try. They call them “Momos” and they’re considered a delicacy in Nepal, Tibet and even in various regions of India.

“I love them, they are amazing and I have to say we have a new recipe for our vegetarian momos. We have meat momos and vegetarian, and the vegetarian are even better then they’ve ever been,” she raves.

Dhamcho has personally prepared bags of frozen dumplings that can be picked up at the temple by appointment and is offering online meditation classes, in response to social distancing.

The Tibetan monk is hopeful that culture will help calm COVID-19 concerns.

“In order to keep our body and immune system strong we need our mental level to be calm, comfortable and peace and happy and that brings us inner strength,” he said. 

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the Tibetan Buddhist community is hosting its annual Tibetan Bazaar online.

Activities include dance, traditional teachings and momo making workshops. To schedule a time to pick up some dumplings or to register for an online meditation class head to the Alberta Centre for Peace and Meditation website.