SALISBURY, MD---The cultural highlight of the year at Salisbury University begins Wednesday, November 8, with the visit by 11 monks from Tibet’s famed Drepung Loseling Monastery.
The monks are in residence through Sunday, November 12, constructing an elaborate sand mandala which they believe brings purification and healing. Following a five-day series of lectures and demonstrations, they conclude their stay with the famed “Sacred Music and Sacred Dance for World Healing” concert.
The internationally renown multiphonic singers, whose sellout performances in Carnegie Hall received national acclaim, have made Salisbury part of their international tour of “Sacred Music Sacred Dance,” which is sponsored by Richard Gere Productions Inc. and the Drepung Loseling Institute, the North American Seat of the Deprung Loseling Monastery. The visit comes with the blessings of His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
Two of their recordings achieved top 10 listings on the New Age charts and the monks participated in the soundtrack of the film Seven Years in Tibet, starring Brad Pitt. They performed to an audience of 50,000 on the National Mall, Washington, D.C., as part of the 2000 Fourth of July celebration.
During their busy week at SU, the 11 monks will construct their mandala in the University Gallery of Fulton Hall, a painstaking ceremony where millions of grains of colored sand are laid out in a complex pattern. The public is invited to view the entire process and participate in part of its five ceremonies. They are:
• Opening ceremony — Wednesday, November 8, noon
• Drawing of the lines — immediately following the opening ceremony
• Mandala construction — Wednesday-Friday, November 8-10, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Saturday, November 11, 10 a.m.-7 p.m., and Sunday, November 12, noon-2 p.m.
• Mandala consecration and closing ceremony — Sunday, November 12, 2 p.m.
• Dispersal ceremony — Sunday, November 12, immediately following the closing ceremony, Salisbury City Park (bridge area near Ben’s Red Swings).
The monks also lecture on “Mandala Sand Painting: the Symbolism of the Sand” Wednesday, November 8, at 7 p.m. in the Wicomico Room of the Guerrieri University Center. Two more lectures follow: “Death and Dying: the Tibetan Tradition” 7 p.m. Thursday, November 9, and “Tibet Today: the Story of a Diaspora” 7 p.m. Friday, November 10.
The “Sacred Music Sacred Dance for World Healing” performance is Sunday, November 12, at 7 p.m. in Holloway Hall Auditorium. Tickets are not required.
Sponsored by the Office of Cultural Affairs, admission to all events is free and the public is invited. For more information call 410-219-2872 or visit the SU Web site at www.salisbury.edu.