Labrang Tashi Kyil Monks come to UIndy
The University of Indianapolis is hosting a group of seven Tibetan Buddhist monks from one of the most celebrated monasteries, Labrang Tashi Kyil. This is the fourth visit of the monks to Indiana, which has a special relation with Tibetan Buddhism. On this visit to the US, the monks are based in Indiana because their tour is in conjunction with the Tibetan Mongolian Buddhist Cultural Center located in Bloomington,. The late elder brother of the current 14th Dalai Lama, Thubten Norbu, who once lived in Bloomington, was a professor of Tibetan studies at Indiana University and helped establish the Tibetan Cultural Center in 1979. Norbu was among the first high profile Tibetans to go into exile in the United States after China overran their country. Bloomington has since become a hub of activity for the Tibetan Buddhist community in our country.
A focus of the Tashi Kyil monks will be the creation of the 2019 World Peace Mandala. The mandala is a circular design comprising auspicious Buddhist symbols and is created using a chak pur, which is a metal funnel that is used to slowly build the design up using extremely fine grains of colored sand. After hours of painstaking work to create the finished design, the artwork is then swept up and ritually destroyed as a reminder of the Buddhist principle of impermanence. The mandala is finished in a Closing Ceremony involving ritual, music, and a colorful procession of monks and visitors carrying what is left of the swept- up mandala to the river.
UIndy will host much more than the creation and dissolution of a sand mandala. The visit is intended to teach Hoosiers about Tibet, about Buddhism, an about the lives of the monks themselves. Don’t miss any of these activities: all are free and open to the public.