During this exhibition, two monks from the Namgyal Monastery, the personal monastery of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, will be in residence at St. Lawrence for three weeks to create a Tibetan Buddhist Kalachakra Mind (Wheel of Time) sand mandala. The mandala is one of the ritual art forms integral to the Indo-Tibetan Buddhist initiation of the deity Kalachakra as taught by the Buddha circa 600 B.C.E. The Dalai Lama says that the Wheel of Time Mind Mandala is particularly beneficial to people in the west who are beginning to learn about and practice these teachings on wisdom and compassion.
Three related exhibitions will complement the mandala: a display of Tibetan Buddhist sacred objects (thangka paintings, sculptures, prayer wheels, altar); the traveling exhibition Seven Years in Tibet: Photographs by Heinrich Harrer; and The Spirit of Tibet: Portrait of a Culture in Exile, contemporary photographs by Alison Wright. Combined, these components of Circle of Enlightenment provide an historical, aesthetic, cultural, and contemporary context for learning about the ancient sacred arts central to the traditions of Tibetan Buddhists.
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