Nichols College News

Sacred Art of Tibetan Monks To Be Showcased at Nichols College

The sacred art of the Tibetan Lamas of the Drepung Loseling Monastery will be showcased on the Dudley, Mass.,campus of Nichols College in October.

The Mandala
On Thursday, October 13th, there will be an Opening Ceremony at 10 a.m. in Conant Library, as the visiting monks consecrate the site with approximately 30 minutes of chants, music and mantra recitation.

Creation of the mandala will continue through October 16th as millions of grains of sand are painstakingly poured into place using a traditional metal funnel called a chak-pur. Each monk holds the chak-pur in one hand while running a metal rod on its grated surface. The resulting vibration causes the sand to flow like liquid as ancient spiritual symbols are formed. The sacred mandala is considered a tool for the re-consecration of the earth and its inhabitants.

In a Closing Ceremony on Monday, Oct. 17th, the monks will sweep up the colored sand and distribute half to the audience as blessings for personal health and healing. The remaining sand will be carried in a procession by the monks and Nichols guests to a flowing stream and ceremonially poured into the water, thus dispersing the healing energies of the mandala throughout the world.

On previous U.S. tours the lamas have displayed sacred mandala art in museums across the country, including: the Arthur Sackler Gallery, (Washington, D.C.); the Field Museum of Natural History (Chicago, IL); Peabody Essex Museum (Salem, MA); the Indianapolis Art Museum (Indianapolis, IN); Kimbell Art Museum (Fort Worth, TX), and The Provincial Museum of Alberta (Edmonton, Canada).

Multiphonic Singers
On Saturday, Oct. 15th, the world-renown multiphonic singers of the Drepung Loseling Monastery will promote world peace through a performance of sacred song and dance in Daniels Auditorium at 7 p.m. Robed in magnificent costumes and playing traditional Tibetan instruments, the monks will perform ancient temple music and dance.

Endorsed by His Holiness the Dalai Lama, these monks have performed in many of America's greatest theaters and music halls and have shared the stage with Philip Glass, Kitaro, Paul Simon, Sheryl Crow, Patti Smith and the Beastie Boys, to name a few.

These events are sponsored by the Fischer Institute and the public is most welcome to attend.

About the Loseling Monastery
After the Chinese Communist invasion of Tibet in 1959 and the forced closure and destruction of its 6,500 monasteries, some 250 monks from Loseling managed to escape the holocaust and rebuild their institution in Karnataka State, South India. The traditional training program was thus preserved. Over the years many more young spiritual aspirants have fled Chinese-occupied Tibet and sought entrance into the monastery, thus helping to preserve their traditional culture. The number of monks presently in the re-established Drepung Loseling has increased to more than 2,500.