Enlightened Activity: The Green Tara Initiative

Monks PosterTibetan Monk Residency

Tuesday, November 17 – Saturday, November 21, 2015

Monks from Drepung Monastery’s Gomang College, originally near Lhasa, Tibet, and now re-established in south India, will come to Dickinson to present “A Tibetan Buddhist Approach to Thinking About Our Place in the Cosmos.” Over the course of four days, the monks will construct a mandala (symbol of the cosmos) out of colored sand; perform a puja (a ritual involving chanting and visualization of the symbolized cosmos); perform a cultural program with traditional Tibetan dances, chanting, and debating; and visit classes.

This residency is sponsored by the Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues and co-sponsored by a Center for Sustainability Education Grant, the Departments of East Asian Studies and Religion,  Center for Service, Spirituality, and Social Justice,  Waidner-Spahr Library, Division of Student Life and the Luce grant for Asian studies and the environment.

Video of Opening Ceremony for the Green Tara Mandala Construction

Time Lapse Video of Mandala Construction

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Sacred Art Tour Central PA Facebook Page

Green Tara Mandala Construction 
Waidner-Spahr Library

The Green Tara Mandala is a beautiful creation in colored sand. The monks will draw an outline on the mandala platform and then begin to fill it in, working from the center outwards. They use pairs of special funnels that will emit a thin stream of sand when one is rubbed against the other, and sometimes use blocks to make sharp edges or ridges that will give the mandala a more three-dimensional appearance. Over four days, what will emerge is a symbol of the entire cosmos with the Buddha of Enlightened Activity, Tara (in her green form), at its center. Onlookers will be able to watch the monks and converse with them around the mandala platform in the circulation area of the library; they can also gain an “aerial” view from the library’s upper-floor walkway.

Opening Ceremony:  Wednesday, November 18: 10 a.m.
Wednesday, November 18: 11 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Thursday, November 19: 9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Friday, November 20: 9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Saturday, November 21: 9 a.m. – 11 a.m.
Closing Ceremony: Saturday, November 21, 2015: 11 a.m.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

7 p.m.:  Inviting Green Tara: An Illustrated Talk and Tibetan Buddhist Ritual
       Stern Center Great Room
                      Dan Cozort, Dickinson College
                      Tibetan Monks, Drepung Monastery’s Gomang College

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

10 a.m.:  Opening Ceremony for Green Tara Mandala Construction
Waidner-Spahr Library

11 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.:  Green Tara Mandala Construction
Waidner-Spahr Library

7 p.m.: Tibetan Cultural Pageant
                Weiss Center, Rubendall Recital Hall, 7 p.m.
Tibetan Monks, Drepung Monastery’s Gomang College

Thursday, November 19, 2015

9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.:  Green Tara Mandala Construction
Waidner-Spahr Library

Friday, November 20, 2015

9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.:  Green Tara Mandala Construction
Waidner-Spahr Library

Saturday, November 21, 2015

9 a.m. – 11 a.m.: Green Tara Mandala Construction
Waidner-Spahr Library

11 a.m.: Closing Ceremony
Waidner-Spahr Library

Sand mandalas are temporary creations. The monks will perform a ceremony to de-consecrate the mandala; they will then sweep it into a pile and distribute the sand to any who would like to take some home.