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 BUDDHIST MONKS TO EXPLAIN MYSTIQUE OF TIBET DURING 3-DAY SRU VISIT 

 

SPOTLIGHT

 10/2/2002
Contact: K.E. Schwab  -- 724-738-2199;  e-mail: karl.schwab@sru.edu

BUDDHIST MONKS TO EXPLAIN MYSTIQUE OF TIBET DURING 3-DAY SRU VISIT          

          SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. – The mystique of Tibet will be brought to the Slippery Rock University campus Tuesday when seven Buddhist monks from the Gaden Shartse Monastery located in southern India, open a three-day visit offering students and area residents a glimpse of their lives, including monastic dances, music, their religion and public healing and empowerment ceremonies.

          Sponsored by SRU’s College of Humanities, Fine and Performing Arts, College of Health Environment and Science, the Office of International Initiatives and the Slippery Rock Friends of Tibet, the packed schedule opens at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday with construction of a sand mandala in the University Union Lobby. The intricate religious art work will be built during the visit, then destroyed at a traditional closing ceremony set for 8:30 p.m. Thursday.         

          While on campus, the monks will visit specific classes, including “World Literature,” “Interpreting Literature and Discovering Geography,” “Comparative Politics” and an English writing class.

           At 1:30 p.m. Tuesday [Oct. 8] the group will offer a public workshop on Tibetan healing in SRU’s Physical Therapy Building and will demonstrate the techniques of energy-healing traditions which they see as a healing visualization that can be taught to participants for use on themselves and others. The procedure involves removing negative energy and illnesses generated by negative energy. A question-and-answer period is planned. They note this empowerment is especially good for those who feel they have no ailments, but are on a spiritual path, regardless of their religious or philosophical beliefs. Participants will receive a mantra, protection cord and a sketch of Vajravidharan drawn by the monks. Appointments for private healings may be made by calling Dr. Regis Turocy, assistant professor of physical therapy, at (724) 738-2382.

          The visitors will offer “Four Noble Truths” at 4 p.m. Tuesday in Spotts World Culture Auditorium detailing the foundational teachings of Buddhism, followed at 5:15 by a workshop on Tibetan meditation methods. A performance of Tibetan dance and music, featuring the dance of the old man and ceremonial music in the Tibetan tradition will be offered at 7:30 p.m. in Swope Music Hall. 

          On Wednesday [Oct. 9] the Tibetan view of sustainable and traditional cultures in the modern world will be detailed in a 10:30 a.m. lecture in Spotts, followed by a noon talk on the Tibetan approach to sustainable agriculture and environmental relations of humans as part of the “Local Harvest Lunch” ($5) held in the University Union. At 7:30 p.m. the group will offer a talk titled “Tibetan Perspectives on Terrorism, War and Peace” in Spotts.      

          At 4 p.m. Thursday a lecture titled “The Heart Sutra and the Bodhisattva Vow” will be presented in Spotts followed by an 8:30 p.m. closing ceremony, including the dissolution of the sand mandala, in the University Union. 

          The Gaden Shartse Monastic college, which serves as the monk’s home, is a voluntary seat for Tibetan learning and a non-profit educational and cultural center. Its concentration is in Tibetan literature and history and all aspects of Buddhist philosophy and practice, including rituals and arts such as scroll and sand painting, along with languages and modern subjects. The monastery is maintained through agriculture, including 84 acres of farmland. Funds raised by the current tour help feed, clothe and education young children entering the community. The visiting monks are living as refugees in exile in India.

          PN, PgN, WPN, PR, PT

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