Tibetan monks to create sand mandala at the Mount from Sept. 22-26

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Tibetan monks from Drepung Gomang Monastery will create a Sacred Sand Mandala from Monday, September 22 through Friday, September 26 at Mount St. Joseph University's Studio San Giuseppe.

The Opening Ceremony will be held on September 22 at 1:00 p.m. in the Quad before moving to Studio San Giuseppe art gallery nearby where the sand painting will take place Monday until 6:30 p.m. It will continue Tuesday through Thursday, 10:00 a.m.-6:30 p.m. and will be completed on Friday between 10 a.m.-12:00 p.m. The final dissolution ceremony will begin at noon on September 26. The public is invited to watch the creation of the mandala during the times stated above, but encouraged to attend the Opening and/or Dissolution Ceremonies.

Tibetan sand painting is an ancient art form of Tibetan Buddhism. The term “mandala” is a Sanskrit word meaning cosmogram, or “world in harmony.” The sand mandala is carefully constructed from dyed sand particles as a vehicle to generate compassion, to realize the impermanence of reality, and to create a social/cosmic healing of the environment. The purpose of the construction of the Chenrezig (Avalokiteshvara), the Bodhisattva of Compassion, Mandala is to encourage every one of us to generate a compassionate heart for the benefit of all sentient beings.

At the Opening Ceremony, the monks will chant powerful prayers for peace, prosperity, and healing in traditional overtones—the chant master intoning a full chord of three notes. Their chants will be accompanied by delicate hand gestures, cymbals, drums, horns, and flutes. At the Dissolution Ceremony, the mandala will be deconstructed by the tour leader, Geshe Yonten Gyatso, and the sands will be dispersed in the Ohio River after a short journey by car down Anderson Ferry Road. Mandalas are destroyed at the end of the ritual as a symbol of the impermanence of all phenomena, and to spread the healing energy of the Mandala to all of creation.  For more information, see http://www.gomang.org/chenrezig.html

The monks of Drepung Gomang are presently on tour in the United States of America to share the compassion and wisdom of Tibetan Buddhism, to demonstrate the artistic accomplishments of the people of Tibet, and to generate funds to insure the survival of the Tibetan culture. Drepung Gomang Monastery uses all donations and proceeds from the sale of Tibetan crafts and jewelry to house, feed, and educate everyone wishing to study at this monastic center of higher learning, including orphans and refugees fleeing Chinese-occupied Tibet. The monastery is working to establish a Food Foundation Fund, which will help the monastery provide a continuous food supply to the student monks in years to come.

Information about Drepung Gomang Monastery and their North American tour is available on their website: www.drepunggomang.org and www.gomang.org

Studio San Giuseppe is a nonprofit art gallery located in the Dorothy Meyer Ziv Art Building on the campus of Mount St. Joseph University, Delhi and Neeb roads in Delhi Township, 15 minutes west of downtown Cincinnati.  Admission is free.  For more information, call Studio San Giuseppe at 513-244-4314, or contact Velma Dailey (Velma.Dailey@msj.edu) or Shawnee Turner (Shawnee.Turner@msj.edu).

Mount St. Joseph University is a Catholic, non-profit college of 2,400 students located in Cincinnati, Ohio; Mount  St. Joseph University offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in interdisciplinary liberal arts and professional curricula.