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Emory to celebrate Tibet Week with full slate of events
Tibet Week mandala creation

Tibet Week begins Monday, Oct. 17, with the colorful opening ceremony in the Carlos Museum’s Ackerman Hall. At the end of the ceremony, monks will begin constructing the intricate sand mandala that will be built throughout the week.

For more than 20 years, Emory’s Tibet Week has recognized Emory’s collaboration with His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the university’s longstanding affiliation with the Drepung Loseling Monastery in South India. 

This year’s celebration, focusing on the theme “Healing the divide,” is set for Oct. 17-22 and features numerous free programs that are open to the public. 

“Each year, Emory Tibet Week presents an opportunity to showcase a rich set of cultural, spiritual and innovative educational programs emerging from a long and close collaborative effort between His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Emory University,” says Lobsang Tenzin Negi, executive director of the Emory Compassion Center. 

“Tibet Week offers Emory and the greater Atlanta community an opportunity to experience a unique Tibetan culture and spirituality as well as to learn about cutting edge interdisciplinary research and programs from Tibetan monks, artists, contemplative scholars and prominent scientists.” 

Originally called the Emory-Tibet Partnership, the unique educational endeavor now known as the Center for Contemplative Science and Compassion-Based Ethics (CCSCBE) brings together the best of the Western and Tibetan Buddhist intellectual traditions for mutual enrichment and the discovery of new knowledge.

“We are happy to have a fun and exciting set of programs to celebrate not only aspects of Tibetan art and culture, but also important programs at Emory that focus on bringing science and spirituality together through ETSI’s works and cultivating and promoting universal human values such as compassion and wellbeing through the works of CBCT and SEE Learning,” says Tsetan Dolka, associate director for the Emory-Tibet Science Initiative. 

“I see Emory-Tibet Week as an important part of Emory’s culture,” Dolkar adds. “Over the years, it has become a significant force in bringing the Emory community together, which is much needed at this moment as we are coming out of the pandemic. We hope that the community sand painting, one of the more popular activities of the week, will allow people to recognize, understand and appreciate the interconnectedness of our life in a fun and colorful way.”


Tibet Week 2022 activities

Join the Drepung Loseling monks of the Mystical Arts of Tibet for daily meditation, chants and a live sand painting exhibition. 

CCSCBE staff members will lead guided compassion meditation sessions each day at 5 p.m. For those who enjoy creativity, community sand painting sessions will be Wednesday through Saturday from 1-5 p.m. 

All in-person events will be held in Ackerman Hall of the Michael C. Carlos Museum. The events are free and open to the public, with most not requiring registration.


Monday, Oct. 17 

Opening ceremony 

12–1 p.m.

Tibet Week begins, with part of the ceremony including monks from the Drepung Loseling Monastery beginning the construction of the sand mandala. This year they will create the Mandala of Akshobnya Buddha, invoked during a crisis, pandemics and conflict to provide protection, healing and transformation. 

The construction will continue throughout the week. Anyone can watch the work on Monday from 15 p.m. and from 10 a.m.5 p.m on the other days of Tibet Week.


Film Screening: “The Great 14th,” presented by award-winning filmmaker Rosemary Rawcliff

7:30–9 p.m.

Hear His Holiness the Dalai Lama go into detail about navigating his public life while striving to walk the enlightened path. 


Tuesday, Oct. 18 


4–5 p.m.  

Enjoy ginger tea and sweets as Brendan Ozawa-de Silva, senior lecturer in CCSCBE, explores the symbolic and pedagogical meanings in a thangka painting from the Carlos Museum’s collection of Asian art. The work, which depicts the śamatha’s nine stages of the taming of the mind, was created over the last two years by master painters at the Norbulingka Institute in Dharamsala, India. 

Attend in person or register to watch online. 


Panel Discussion: “Dharma Meets Science” 

7:30–9 p.m. 

Robin Nusslock, a neuroscientist at Northwestern University, joins monastic graduates of the Emory-Tibet Science Initiative for a discussion on the convergence of science and spirituality. Arri Eisen from Emory’s Department of Biology will moderate the discussion. 


Wednesday, Oct. 19 

Online Lecture: “The Wheel of Life: A Buddhist Visual Pedagogy” 

7:30–9 p.m. 

Buddhist theories of birth and rebirth are known for their complexity. While the law of karma can be expressed simply as “you reap what you sow,” the psychological and metaphysical processes by which karma functions are not easy to grasp. 

During this program, Sara McClintock, associate professor in Emory’s Department of Religion, will “read” a new work in the museum’s collection of Asian art, a thangka painting depicting the “wheel of life,” created in 2021-22 by master painters at the Norbulinkga Institute in Dharamsala, India, a companion to the śamatha thangka.

Register to hear the lecture. 


Thursday, Oct. 20 

Webinar: “Compassion: An Engine for Primary Healthcare” 

9–10 a.m. 

As part of the third annual Juliet E. Shield Symposium on Compassion, Shams Syed of the World Health Organization will present on the value of compassion in health care and the role it plays in improving quality care. 

Register to watch the webinar. 


Panel Discussion: “Advancing a Global Culture of Compassion” 

7:30–9 p.m. 

Experts from business, health care, human services and education will explore the challenges, opportunities and benefits of infusing compassion across society. Their discussion will be moderated by Lobsang Tenzin Negi of the Emory Compassion Center.


Saturday, Oct. 22

Closing ceremonies with the monks of Drepung Loseling Monastery 

5:30 p.m.


Sponsors of Emory-Tibet Week 2022 include the CCSCBE, the Michael C. Carlos Museum, Emory University Department of Religion, Drepung Loseling Monastery, Inc. and the Hightower Fund.

For more information, visit the CCSCBE website or email

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