Ithaca College to Host Tibetan Buddhist Monks for Creation of a Mandala on IC’s Campus During Week of November 1-7

By Dan DeCaria, September 27, 2022

Ithaca College is proud to announce that the college will be hosting an amazing and deeply spiritual series of events during the first week of November centered around the construction of a mandala on IC’s campus. The college will be welcoming several monks from Namgyal Monastery Institute of Buddhist Studies, a Tibetan Buddhist monastery located in Ithaca, N.Y., who will construct a mandala inside the Campus Center.

The mandala that is planned for Ithaca College will be constructed out of multi-colored sand and is dedicated to Chenrezig, the bodhisattva (highly advanced spiritual being) of compassion. Tibetan Buddhists traditionally recognize Chenrezig as the patron of Tibet and view the XIV Dalai Lama as an emanation of Chenrezig on earth.

The construction of the mandala will begin on Wednesday, November 2, and will continue throughout the remainder of the week. Each day, beginning at 3:00 p.m., the monks will do ritual chanting followed by leading a mediation session. The mandala project will conclude on Monday, November 7, when the monks will lead a dissolution ceremony beginning at 2:30 p.m. The monks will process with the mandala from Campus Center to Muller Pond where the mandala will be poured into the pond to symbolize temporality, the releasing of the Chenrezig deity, and the spread of compassion throughout the world. Following the dissolution ceremony, there will be a special reception with light refreshments and continued conversation at Muller Chapel.

In addition to the creation of the mandala and the dissolution ceremony, there will also be some additional learning opportunities during the course of the week. On Tuesday, November 1, there will be a film viewing and discussion, beginning at 6:00 p.m., in the Campus Center’s Clark Lounge. On Thursday, November 3, from 6:00-8:00 p.m., a special lecture entitled, “Mandala and Meaning: A Historical Perspective,” will be hosted by Professor Eric Steinschneider from Ithaca College’s Department of Philosophy and Religion. The lecture will feature special guest, Venerable Tenzin Choesang, Professor and President of Namgyal Monastery Institute of Buddhist Studies.

All events related to this project including viewing the creation of the mandala and the dissolution ceremony are open to all students, faculty, staff and campus visitors. Please visit the Tibetan Buddhist Mandal Project website to learn more about mandalas and a full schedule events. Please stay tuned for additional updates during the coming weeks!

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