Tibetan monks share their traditions and artistic talents with the UTSA community

Tibetan monks share their traditions and artistic talents with the UTSA community

(November 14, 2016) -- The Mystical Arts of Tibet tour is making a stop at The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA). Tibetan Buddhist monks from Drepung Loseling Monastery will be on the UTSA Main and Hemisfair Campuses this week.

Their visit coincides with International Education Week which is a nationwide celebration of international education and exchange programs preparing students for the global workforce.

The monks will share an artistic tradition with the UTSA community by constructing a mandala sand painting beginning Monday, November 14, 2016 at noon in the UTSA University Center window lounge.

The tradition begins with an opening ceremony during which the site is blessed before an outline of a mandala is drawn on a wooden platform and colored sands are laid down. The monks will work on this painting through Thursday.

Traditionally, most sand mandalas are destroyed shortly after their completion. This is done to symbolize the fleeting nature of life. The sands are swept up and placed in an urn then half is distributed to the audience and the remainder is carried to a nearby body of water to be deposited. The closing ceremony will be Thursday, November 17, 2016 at noon in the UTSA University Center.

The Tibetan monks will give a lecture on Wednesday, November 16, 2016, at the UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures at 7 p.m. The lecture “The Role of Tibetan Monks in Today’s Society” will focus on their cultural traditions, contributions to world peace and current events in Tibet.

The Mystical Arts of Tibet is a tour endorsed by the Dalai Lama to promote world peace and healing by sharing Tibet’s performing and visual arts with audiences around the world. The monks last visited UTSA in 2008.

- Kara Mireles


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