Mystical Arts of Tibet to Visit the College

Published on 29 March 2016

From March 28 to March 31, STLCOP will host the prestigious Mystical Arts of Tibet. As part of the “Mountain Medicine” theme of this year’s Liberal Arts Convocation series, St. Louis College of Pharmacy will host the Tibetan Monks of Drepung Loseling Monastery for a week of mandala sand painting, sacred music and dance, and a lecture open to the public.

“Inviting the Tibetan monks of Drepung Loseling Monastery was a natural choice. They are so deeply invested in the broad spectrum of health: mind, body, spirit,” Brian Walter said, associate professor of English and director of convocations at the College. “My hope is their visit will be a breath of rarified fresh air for students and the community and will remind us all that health is much more than numerical indices.”

Mandala sand paintings typically take three to five days to construct. Before construction of the mandala can begin, an opening ceremony must be performed to consecrate the site of the mandala with chants, music, and mantra recitation. Following the opening ceremony, the monks draw the line design for the mandala that they will then pour millions of grains of sand into over the next four days.

A closing consecration ceremony will be held Thursday, March 31, at 12 p.m. to complete the mandala before sweeping up the colored sands to symbolize the impermanence of all that exists.

Other events throughout the week will include: a community constructed sand painting, a lecture on The Ancient Art of Healing: The Tibetan Buddhist Approach to take place on Tuesday, March 29, at 3 p.m., and an evening of sacred music and dance in the ARB auditorium on Thursday, March 31.

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