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FEBRUARY 16 – MARCH 1, 2005

Complete Calendar, in PDF format

In February/March 2005 Wellesley College, in cooperation with Trinity College, will
host eight Tibetan Buddhist nuns including Ani Ngawang Tendol, their translator and group leader, from the Keydong Thuk-Che-Cho-Ling Nunnery in Kathmandu, Nepal, in the creation of a sand mandala, the Avalokitesvara mandala of compassion. Over twenty departments, programs and nonprofit institutions have joined together to support this sacred art event at Wellesley College. The Keydong nuns are among
the first Tibetan Buddhist women monastics to learn this sacred art practice which was traditionally reserved for monks only.

February 16: Opening ceremony, Welcome, and Lecture
Opening Circles of Healing, Circles of Peace will be a ceremony led by the Keydong nuns, and a gallery talk to be given by Professor Heping Liu. The talk will take place
in the Davis Museum and Cultural Center at 1 p.m. The Keydong nuns will be introduced to the community by Dean Victor Kazanjian and Professor Kodera. A gallery opening of works of Tibetan Buddhist art on loan from the collection of Moke Mokotoff of New York, and the creation of the mandala will follow the lecture.

February 16 - March 1: Creation and Dismantling of the Mandala
The creation of the mandala will take place in the Davis Museum and Cultural Center. The hall will be open to the public between the hours of 11:00 am and 5:00 pm Tuesday through Saturday, between 11 a.m. and 8 p.m. Wednesdays, and between
12:00 and 4:00 pm on Sundays, except Mondays. These hours are subject to change to honor special sacred intervals in the mandala-making process when the hall must be closed. On Tuesday, March 1st, a closing and dismantling ceremony, will begin at 4:00 p.m. It will begin at the Davis Museum and proceed to the shore of Lake Waban.

Thursday, February 17: Panel Discussion, Welcome and Reception
Circles of Compassion: Cultural and Social Interpretations of the Mandala with Professor Liu, Art Department; Professor Kodera, Religion Department and Professor Gordon Fellman, Sociology Department, Brandeis University.
4:30 p.m. Pendleton East 212

A reception will follow the panel discussion, where the Keydong nuns will be welcomed by President Diana Chapman Walsh, Dean of Religious and Spiritual Life Victor Kazanjian, members of the Wellesley College community, and guests.

Sunday, February 20: Puja of Avalokitesvara
We are honored to announce this opportunity to share the cultural treasures of Tibet, and its diamond-point teachings on peace and wholeness with the community. The Tibetan nuns of Keydong nunnery will perform a puja (a blessing), dedicated to the Bodhissatva ideal represented by Avalokitesvara, of compassion. This practice is a traditional way to purify the mind, including visualizations, verse recitations, distinctive and beautiful overtone chanting, complemented by heartfelt prayer. In Nepal and Tibet as in America, the times are politically uncertain; these nuns have, through meditation, used uncertainty to deepen their compassion. The inner resources they bring are extraordinary. Using traditional chanting and images, a realignment with the sacred is possible, bringing about healing and peace.
1:30 p.m. Houghton Chapel

Thursday, February 24: Film, “Windhorse”
An opportunity for dialogue with the nuns, who acted in this film, follows the showing.

Windhorse deals with the evocative and still very salient issue of the Chinese occupation of Tibet. Opening in the year 1979, Windhorse takes the point of view of a Tibetan family affected by this perilous circumstance. A number of children witness a relative being killed by Chinese soldiers, children whom we rejoin later as adults in the present day. The film focuses on three main characters. Dorjee has become embittered by his earlier experiences and spends his days attempting to drink away his problems. His sister, Dolkar, is a small time singer who is dating a record executive, who attempts to give her a break by hiring her to sing propaganda on a local TV station. Pema, who has become a nun, is brutally mistreated by the Chinese authorities, which places Dolkar in a personal crisis of career, family and culture. Description courtesy of ANU Film Group.

“Windhorse is a magnificent film worthy of the various awards it garnered at festivals around the country”, Weekly Wire.

7:00 p.m. Slater Center. Co-sponsored by Slater Center and the Advisor to Asian Students.

Wednesday, March 2: Puja of Compassion
Ruah Spirituality Institute presents a PUJA OF COMPASSION with the Tibetan nuns of Keydong Nunnery: An opportunity to explore the world of Tibetan Buddhism, deepen our compassion and realign ourselves with the sacred.

7:00-8:30 PM, The Meetinghouse, Andover Newton Theological School
For more information, please visit: www.ruahspirit.org

Thurs., March 3, 7-8 m.: Om Mani Padme Hum
This mantra, at the core of the mandala, means, “may the jewel be within the lotus”, may the mind be within the heart. We will share our experience of heart-centered wisdom and offer suggestions for using this mantra to awaken compassion.

Sun., March 6, 1 pm: Chanting
Chanting is a powerful way to bring all aspects of mind and body into harmony. The Keydong nuns will perform a Puja of Compassion, and teach a chant that is simple and beautiful.

Mon., March 7, 7-8 pm.: Tibetan Tara Practice

Tara is the archetype of awakened compassion, the sacred feminine-- in the fullness of her body, speech and mind. The Keydong nuns will share Tara meditation practices and chanting.

A MANDALA is a graphic representation of the perfected environment of an enlightened being: in this case, Avalokiteshvara, the Deity of Compassion. A mandala can be read as a bird’s-eye view of a celestial palace, with a highly complex and beautiful architecture adorned with symbols and images that represent both the nature of reality and the order of an enlightened mind. At a deeper level then, a mandala is a visual metaphor for the path to enlightenment: its viewers “enter” a world artfully designed to evoke attitudes and understandings of their own deepest nature.

A mandala is both a microcosm and macrocosm and includes the individual and the universe in its transformative power. Upon completion of the intricate designs and complex iconography of the mandala, it is dismantled and the sand is offered back to the earth as a powerful symbol of the transitory nature of life. The concept of the mandala has, in the twentieth century, found a wide range of correspondences:
within Jungian psychology, the mandala represents an inner wholeness which we all seek to restore. Within modern art, the mandala painting uses geometric shapes to represent a vibrational landscape within the human soul. Within political science and peace studies, the mandala refers to the interpenetration of the personal with the political, of contemplation with action, and the inherent deep connection between mind. body, and spirit.

At a time when we are confronted globally with the spectre of violence and terror, join us to honor the Circles of Healing, Circles of Peace, an expression of peace, compassion, and transformation for all sentient beings.


Buddhist Advisor's Office
Last updated: January 21, 2005