Tibet Week offers cultural feast

By Leslie King | Emory Report | March 17, 2014

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Meditation, mandala sand painting, and a variety of forums for exploring the culture of Tibet will highlight Tibet Week, which is March 24-29.

"Tibet Week each year is a special occasion to showcase and celebrate a wide range of Tibetan cultural events, and this year is no exception," says Geshe Lobsang Tenzin Negi, senior lecturer in the Department of Religion and director of the Emory-Tibet Partnership.

"We are also excited to have a number of new events geared especially towards Emory students, including a forum on the student-led China-Tibet Initiative," he adds.

The opening ceremony is Monday, March 24, at noon, conducted by Negi and monks from Drepung Loseling Monastery, Inc.  All events are held in the Michael C. Carlos Museum Reception Hall unless otherwise noted.

Throughout the week, all are invited to spend a contemplative moment at the Living Mandala, located in Pitts Garden between Cannon Chapel and the Quad.

The Living Mandala, created in 2012, is a garden designed to inspire peaceful reflection, compassion and harmony.

The monks will conduct a daily live exhibition of mandala sand painting. This year they will construct the Compassion Buddha or Avalokiteshvara skt. The exhibition begins at 1 p.m. on Monday, March 24 and thereafter at 10 a.m. through Friday, March 28, concluding each day at 5 p.m.

Compassion meditation will be held Monday through Friday at 5 p.m.  Meditation leaders are Kari Leibowitz, Carol Beck, Bobbi Patterson, Amanda Pema Brown and Tim Harrison.

Scheduled talks and events

A talk, "The Tibetan Art of Diagnosis: Utilizing the Five Senses as Medical Instruments," will be Monday at 7:30 p.m.  Tibetan doctors Khenrab Gyamtso and Tashi Dawa will discuss how they and other Tibetan doctors rely on their own five senses to examine their patients, name their ailments, and recommend treatments and medications.

A Creativity Conversation in which Jon Kolkin and Tara Doyle discuss the creative process in seeking wisdom and balance in life will take place Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. Doyle is Emory's director of the Tibetan Studies Program in India. Kolkin is a fine arts photographer, whose series Inner Harmony is about looking inward to find fulfillment. His photographic series, "Seeking Wisdom," will be on exhibit in the Chace Gallery in the Schwartz Center.

Wednesday will feature two events. The first is a forum at 6 p.m. "Building Friendship Through Common Understanding: Reflections from the student founders of Emory’s China-Tibet Initiative."

A panel discussion: "Realizing the Dalai Lama’s Dream of Science for Monastics: Challenges and Implications of the Implementation Phase" begins at 7:30 p.m. Tibetan Buddhist scholar and religious leader Geshe Lhakdor is joined by Emory-Tibet Science Initiative (ETSI) faculty member Carol Worthman and ETSI scholars and translators to examine the challenges that lie ahead as the implementation phase of this initiative begins. Worthman is Samuel Candler Dobbs Professor of Anthropology.

On Thursday, a talk "Reflections on Tibetan rnam thar; What, and How, Do They Teach Us?" will be at 7:30 p.m. Tibetan Buddhist scholar Jan Willis discusses Tibetan Buddhist spiritual biographies and what can be learned from the life stories of tantric yogis like Naropa and Milarepa. Willis is a religion professor at Wesleyan University.

Sara McClintock, associate professor of religion, will give a gallery talk on Friday at 6:30 p.m. discussing a 10th century statue of Avalokiteshvara, the Bodhissattva of Compassion, which is in the Asian Gallery and in the Carlos Museum’s collection.

Also at 6:30 p.m., a mandala workshop for children will be held with Drepung Loseling monks. Pre-registration is required by calling Nina West at 404-727-0519.

Following McClintock's talk, the film "The Sun Behind the Clouds: Tibet's Struggle for Freedom" will be screened. A follow-up Q&A with filmmakers Ritu Sarin and Tenzing Sonam will be moderated by Doyle.

Negi will give a talk on Saturday at 1 p.m., "Symbolism of the Mandala," followed by the closing ceremony by Drepung Loseling monks.

Science translation conference

During Tibet Week, ETSI will host the 6th International Conference on Science Translation into Tibetan beginning March 25 through March 29 on the 6th floor of 1599 Clifton Rd.

Sponsors of Tibet Week include the Emory-Tibet Partnership; the Michael C. Carlos Museum; the Claus M. Halle Institute for Global Learning; the Shelley and Donald Rubin Foundation; the Department of Religion; Middle Eastern and South Asian Studies; South Asia Seminar; CCA Goldwasser; Drepung Loseling Monastery; the Center for International Programs Abroad; the Hightower Fund; the Emory Chapter of Students for a Free Tibet; and the Dalai Lama Trust.