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Emory-Tibet Week returns, inviting participants to focus on ‘Compassion, Practice and Well-being’

After canceling activities in 2020 due to the pandemic, Emory-Tibet Week returns March 21–27 with film screenings, daily meditations and the traditional mandala sand painting exhibition. Photo is from the 2019 observance.

Emory-Tibet Week 2021 will be different from years past because of its virtual format, but will still share insights with members of the Emory community and others through its theme of “Compassion, Practice and Well-being.” 

The theme represents the shared mission of all the programs of Emory’s Center for Contemplative Science and Compassion-Based Ethics (CCSCBE): CBCT® (Cognitively-Based Compassion Training), SEE Learning® (Social, Emotional and Ethical Learning) and the Robert A. Paul Emory-Tibet Science Initiative.

“These programs come together with the Compassion Center’s most recent endeavor  an ambitious initiative called The Compassion Shift  which aims to advance a global culture of compassion to the key areas of health care, education, business and social services across the world,” says Hannah Smith, CCSCBE program coordinator. “Drawing from years of experience and research, we strive to make the need for compassion in our world more visible and to show that the compassion inherent within us all can be expanded through training and practice, which has a major impact on our overall health and well-being.”

The celebration, held March 21–27, marks 23 years of Emory’s academic collaboration with His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Emory has had an affiliation with the Drepung Loseling Monastery in South India since 1999. Originally called the Emory-Tibet Partnership, the unique educational endeavor now known as the CCSCBE brings together the best of the Western and Tibetan Buddhist intellectual traditions for mutual enrichment and the discovery of new knowledge.

“Our annual Emory-Tibet Week provides us an opportunity to celebrate innovative programs emerging from a collaborative effort between Emory University and His Holiness the Dalai Lama,” says Lobsang Tenzin Negi, executive director of CCSCBE. “In the past 23 years, this collaboration has produced programs that advance our shared vision for educating both heart and mind, both intellect and character. The need for these programs at this time is more urgent than ever.”

Sponsors of Emory-Tibet Week 2021 include the CCSCBE, the Michael C. Carlos Museum, Emory College of Arts and Sciences, the Joni Winston Fund and Drepung Loseling Monastery.

For more information, visit the CCSCBE website or email


Sunday, March 21

Activities begin Sunday, March 21, with a virtual film festival featuring three films. Each showing will be followed by a live Q&A with the director (viewers can submit questions through the webinar Q&A function while watching). 

Viewers can access all three films on Sunday with a single link. A confirmation email with information about joining the webinar will be sent after registration; click here to register


“Upper Story: On the Road to Well-being”

1–3:30 p.m.

Written and directed by Alessandra Pedrotti Catoni 

Today, more than 10% of the global population suffers from mental health problems. Three decades of collaboration between the Dalai Lama, Buddhist scholars and neuroscientists has led to the discovery of the incredible potential of the human mind and how it can be trained to improve our mental well-being. The eternal conflict between science and religion has finally found common ground.


“The Dalai Lama: Scientist”

4–6:30 p.m.

Written and directed by Dawn Engle

This uplifting and optimistic documentary tells of the Dalai Lama’s meetings with scientists from around the world to find commonalities among Buddhist science and Western science to promote health, understanding and compassion for all. The Dalai Lama tells, in his own words, of his lifelong journey into the world of science and technology. With never-before-seen footage, this film tells the very human story of the Dalai Lama that no one knows.


“Bringing Tibet Home”

7–9:30 p.m.

Written and directed by Tenzin Tsetan Choklay 

When New York–based Tibetan artist Tenzing Rigdol’s father passes away in exile with an unfulfilled wish to take his last breath in Tibet, Rigdol realizes that his father’s dream to return home to his lost nation is shared by all Tibetans in exile. Driven by this realization, the artist embarks on a mission to reunite the Tibetan land with its people through an art project that involves smuggling 20,000 kilograms of native Tibetan soil to India.


Monday, March 22–Saturday, March 27

Join the Drepung Loseling monks of the Mystical Arts of Tibet for daily meditation, chants and live sand painting of the Mandala of Avalokiteshvara: The Buddha of Compassion. Register here to watch any event during the week.  


Monday, March 22

9–9:30 a.m.

Opening ceremony conducted by CCSCBE executive director Geshe Lobsang Tenzin Negi and the Drepung Loseling monks of the Mystical Arts of Tibet

9:45 a.m.–12:30 p.m. 

Live exhibition of mandala sand painting 

The ancient Tibetan-Buddhist tradition of mandala sand painting involves the use of colored sand to create a graphic depiction of the universe. This year’s mandala will represent the Avalokiteshvara, Buddha of Compassion.


Tuesday, March 23–Friday, March 26

8–8:45 a.m.

Meditation and chanting with the Drepung Loseling monks of the Mystical Arts of Tibet

9 a.m.–12:30 p.m.

Live exhibition of mandala sand painting


Saturday, March 27

10–10:45 a.m.

Meditation and chanting with the Drepung Loseling monks of the Mystical Arts of Tibet

11–11:30 a.m.

Closing ceremony conducted by Geshe Lobsang Tenzin Negi and the Drepung Loseling monks of the Mystical Arts of Tibet

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