The mission of this group is to promote healing and world peace. The Drepung Loseling Monastery, located in Atlanta, Ga., is dedicated to preserving the endangered Tibetan culture, which leads a fragile existence in exiled communities in India and Nepal. This group of monks was chosen by the Dalai Lama and his associates, according to June Krell-Salgado, director of the Office of Cultural Affairs.
The construction of the mandala will begin Tuesday in the Great Hall in Holloway Hall. The public is invited to participate in several activities that will be held throughout the week. The events include:
- Opening Ceremony- Tuesday, April 12 at noon
- Drawing of the Lines- Tuesday April 12, following the opening ceremony
- Mandala Construction- Tuesday-Friday, April 12-15, from 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Saturday, April 16, from noon-2 p.m.
- Mandala Consecration – Saturday, April 16 at noon
- Dispersal Ceremony- Saturday, April 16
Several other activities open to the public include a community mandala, puzzles, and coloring sheets for children. The monks will also be selling merchandise. Krell-Salgado said that all proceeds help to fund the monastery.
The construction of the mandala is known as a means for meditation, according to Krell-Salgao. She said building the mandala is a time-consuming project that requires major focus and steady hands. The drawing of the lines will take three hours to construct, Krell-Salgado said. After the lines are complete, the laying of the colored sand will take place stating from the middle of the lines going outward. This is done using metal funnels called chak-purs with metal rods that run along the funnels creating vibrations, which force the sand slowly out of the funnel. This sand is made of pulverized white marble that is dyed with vegetable dye and is blessed by the Dalai Lama, Krell-Salgado said.
Krell-Salgado said that after completion, the mandala will lay in state for two hours for the public to observe, then will be destroyed during a ceremony where half will be swept up and given to the public. The other half will be carried in a procession by the monks and fellow guests to a nearby flowing body of water, where Krell-Salgado said it will be ceremonially poured to disperse the healing energies to the community. This is to symbolize the impermanence of everything that exists, she noted.
On Thursday, April 14, Dr. Joerg Tuske, a faculty member of Salisbury University’s Philosophy Department, will lecture on “Key Concepts in Buddhist Teaching: Momentariness & Liberation.” The lecture will be held in SU’s Great Hall at 7 p.m.
As a part of the International Dinner Series, SU’s University Dining Services will host “A Taste of Tibet” 4:30-7:30 p.m., Wednesday, April 13, at the Commons at Salisbury University. The cost of the dinner is $12.48 plus tax and children under 5 are $7.57 plus. The menu is as follows: corn soup, butter chicken, Tibetan curry with beef, rice, potato curry, greens with tofu, assorted flat breads, Himalayan rice pudding with cashews & coconut, and Tibetan-style cheesecake.
This is the fifth time the Office of Cultural Affairs has hosted this residency. The monks’ last visit to SU was September 2013.
The Office of Cultural Affairs has a page dedicated to this event and will include links to the history, symbolism, Tibetan translations, and a live-stream web cam.
By Amber Eversburg