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July 7, 2013

Carnegie Center to host Tibetan monks

NEW ALBANY — Seven Tibetan monks from the Labrang Tashi Kyil Monastery in Dehradun, India, will be creating a World Peace sand mandala in the foyer of the Carnegie Center for Art & History, 201 E. Spring St., New Albany from Tuesday, July 9, through Saturday, July 13.

 They will also be presenting an evening cultural program and a Tibetan art workshop for children. Tibetan merchandise will be available for sale during the hours of the mandala construction. Proceeds from the sale of merchandise benefit the Labrang Tashi Kyil Monastery.

The monks are touring the United States in conjunction with the Tibetan Mongolian Buddhist Cultural Center in Bloomington. The goals of this tour are to provide information about Tibetan culture, deliver a message of mutual understanding and tolerance, and to raise awareness and support for their re-established monastery in India.  

Tibetan monks have long produced intricate designs by carefully depositing finely ground colored stone using specially designed funnels called chak pur. After days of painstaking work, the finished design is swept away as a powerful reminder of the Buddhist principal of impermanence. The sand is then poured into a flowing body of water as an offering of the merit created to all beings.

 Schedule of events include:

July 9     — 11 to 11:15 a.m., Mandala opening ceremony; 11:15 a.m. to 5 p.m., Mandala construction

July 10-12  — 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Mandala construction

July 13 — 12 to 1:30 p.m., closing ceremony, Mandala deconstruction, and procession to river

The evening talk and cultural presentation will be from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, July 11. The monks of Tashi Kyil monastery will give a presentation on Tibetan monastic life, an overview of the history of their monastery, and demonstration of Tibetan monastic chanting and debate.  Suggested donation is $5. However, no one will be turned away for inability to pay.

The Tibetan art workshops will be from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Friday, July 12. This is an opportunity for children ages 5-12 to work with Tibetan monks to produce their own sand paintings and Tibetan butter sculptures (using play dough). Parents are encouraged to attend. Space is limited to 20 participants.  Suggested donation is $10; however, no one will be turned away for inability to pay. Register by noon on Thursday, July 11, by calling 812-944-7336 to register.

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