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Tibetan Monks Visiting Earlham

Monday, September 29 - Friday, October 3, 2014

As an outgrowth of our Tibetan Studies Off-Campus Program (located in Dharamsala, India, every fall semester), Earlham has established a relationship with the Tibetan-Mongolian Center in Bloomington, originally founded by the brother of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. The current leader of the center, Aja Rinpoche, contacted Associate Professor of Music Forrest Tobey in late summer regarding a group of Tibetan monks from the Sera Je monastery in South India, who had just procured a visa to the U.S. The Center was looking for institutions who would be willing to host them. The monks are on campus to talk about Tibetan culture and how it has survived during the 50-plus-year diaspora that began when the Dalai Lama fled Tibet in 1959. History of Sera Je can be found online.

The monks rather sudden arrival in the U.S. did not leave much time for planning ahead, but they have indeed arrived and will be engaged in a number of activities, the most public of which will be their creation of the sand mandala in the Birenbaum Arts Atrium (a creation which takes four days) and a cultural presentation in Lingle Recital Hall at 7:00 p.m., on Thursday, October 2. The mandala will express the energy of Manjushri, who is essentially the patron saint of learning, knowledge and wisdom within their tradition. It is being created for the benefit of our students' success and the success of the college as a whole.

Here are the highlights of the visit. Public events of interest are in bold. Please welcome the monks when you see them.

        • Monday, September 29 — Sand Mandala Opening Ceremony:
          • AM: Set-up for Sand Mandala Creation
          • Noon: Ceremony to commence sand mandala. Chanting and Music. Arts Atrium
          • Afternoon: Sand Mandala Creation begins. Feel free to drop by anytime to observe.
        • Tuesday, September 30 — Class Appearances 1:00 to 2:30 p.m.
          • Sacred India: Traditions and Transformations. Lyn Miller. (Carpenter 214). Student Translator: Wangchen
          • Varieties of Authoritarianism. Allison White (LBC 316) Student Translator: Shonpa Yeshi
        • Wednesday, October 1 —
          • The monks will attend faculty buffet
          • Public talk: "The Geometry and Meaning of the Manjushri Sand Mandala." Student Translator: Chungdhak. Arts Atrium, at 2:30 p.m.
        • Thursday, October 2 — Morning Lectures and Evening Cultural Performance
          • Health Psychology at 8:30 a.m. Beth Mechlin. (LBC 327). Student Translator: Chungdhak
          • Spiritual but not Religions. Michael Birkel. (Carpenter 321). Student Translator: TBA
          • Cultural Performance, Lingle Recital Hall. 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Tibetan goods will be sold during break to support their monastery in South India. Ceremony will be a look into the life of a Tibetan Monk, and will include sacred dances, music and a demonstration of formal Tibetan Buddhist debate.
        • Friday, October 3 — Closing Ceremony of Sand Mandala
          • Morning open to view completed Mandala.
          • 12:30 p.m.: Closing ceremony, after which Sand Mandala is swept away.
          • 2:30 p.m.: Social Justice: adding the mathematical dimension. Julie Beier. (LBC 214). Translator: TBA.
          • Departure: 5:00 p.m.

Sand Mandala After Day 1

Lotus flower within the circle within the square is complete. Inside the petals are highly detailed Tibetan letters, all created in fine colored sand. Come by anytime to see them at work on Tuesday.

Sand -mandala -1

Sand -mandala -2

Sand -mandala -3

Sand -mandala -4

Sand Mandala After Day 1

Sand -mandala -2-1 

Sand -mandala -2-2

Sand -mandala -2-3

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