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Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


Media Contact

Beth Sorensen
Office of Communications
503/777-7574
beth.sorensen@reed.edu


TIBETAN MONKS WILL PERFORM IN CONCERT AND BUILD SAND MANDALA

The concert
Tibetan Buddhist monks from the Drepung Loseling Monastery will perform in Reed College’s Kaul Auditorium on Tuesday, February 22, at 7:30 p.m. The concert is part of their international tour of "Sacred Music and Sacred Dance for World Healing."

Mandala events
The Tibetan monks will also construct a mandala sand painting. Opening ceremonies for the painting will be held at 3 p.m. on Tuesday, February 22, in the Kaul Auditorium. Closing ceremonies will be held at 5 p.m. on Friday, February 25, in the Kaul Auditorium, where the mandala will be destroyed. The construction of the mandala can be viewed from Wednesday to Friday, February 23 to 25, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Ticket information
Three-day passes for all of the events, sponsored by Students for a Free Tibet, a Reed student-run organization, are $15 in advance and $18 at the door. Tickets are available beginning Monday, February 14, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Reed College student activities office, Gray Center 104, and from 5 p.m. to midnight in the Reed College Paradox Café. For more information, call the Reed student activities office at 503/788-6692.

The 1999-2000 Sacred Music Sacred Dance tour is sponsored by Richard Gere Productions, Inc. and the Loseling Institute, the North American seat of the Drepung Loseling Monastery, with the blessings of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. The tour has three purposes: to make a contribution to world healing and peace movements, to regenerate a greater awareness of the endangered Tibetan civilization, and to raise support for the Tibetan refugee community in India.

The performance will feature multiphonic singing, where the monks simultaneously intone three notes of a chord. The monks play traditional instruments such as 10-feet long dungchen trumpets, drums, bells, cymbals, and gyaling horns. Rich brocade costumes and masked dances, such as the Dance of the Sacred Snow Lion, add to the exotic splendor.

In past tours, the monks have toured with many distinguished modern-day musicians, including Kitaro, Paul Simon, Philip Glass, Edie Brickell, Natalie Merchant, Patti Smith, the Beastie Boys, and the Grateful Dead’s Mickey Hart. Two of their recordings have achieved top ten listing on new age charts: Tibetan Sacred Temple Music Productions, and Sacred Music Sacred Dance for World Healing . Their music was featured in the Golden Globe-nominated soundtrack of the film Seven Years in Tibet , and they performed with Phillip Glass in Lincoln Center, New York, in the live presentation of his award-winning score for the Martin Scorsese film Kundun .

In the art of sand painting, millions of grains of colored sand are painstakingly laid into place on a flat platform over a period of days or weeks to form the image of a mandala. In general, all mandalas have outer, inner, and secret meanings. On the outer level they represent the world in its divine form. On the inner level they represent a map by which the ordinary human mind is transformed into the enlightened mind. On the secret level they depict the primordially perfect balance of the subtle energies of the body and the clear light dimension of the mind. The creation of a sand painting is said to effect a purification and healing on these three levels.

The mandala sand painting begins with an opening ceremony, during which the lamas consecrate the site and call forth the forces of goodness. This is done by means of chanting, music, and mantra recitation.

The lamas begin by drawing an outline of the mandala on the wooden platform. On the following days the monks lay the colored sands using a traditional metal funnel called a chak-pur while running a metal rod on its grated surface. The vibration causes the sands to flow like liquid.

Traditionally most sand mandalas are destroyed shortly after their completion as a metaphor of the impermanence of life. The sands are swept up and placed in an urn. To fulfill the function of healing, half is distributed to the audience at the closing ceremony, while the remainder is carried to a nearby body of water, where it is deposited. The waters then carry the healing blessing to the ocean, and from there it spreads throughout the world for planetary healing.

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