The ArtsCenter in Carrboro welcomed the Tibetan Buddhist Monks of Drepung Gomang Monastery last week to construct a sacred sand mandala in the Nicholson Art Gallery.
The monks worked on the mandala over a five-day period that began May 15 as part of their Sacred Art Tour that has taken them up and down the East Coast of the United States. With this tour, the monks hope to create a greater awareness of the Tibetan civilization and the human rights abuses that they have endured from the Chinese government for over fifty years.
The invasion of Tibet by China in 1959 during the Cultural Revolution sent thousands of Tibetans to India as refugees, many of whom remain in exile in order to preserve their traditions and culture. The Drepung Gomang Monastery in South India serves as one of the bases established for refugee monks to pursue traditional monastic studies on Buddhist philosophy.
The ArtsCenter has hosted members of the Drepung Gomang Monastery for several years on their tours as they spread a message of world healing and peace. The Monastery said that the Sacred Art Tour aims to raise support for the refugee monks’ community in South India with food, health improvements and educational facilities.
Daniel Mayer, executive director of the ArtsCenter, believes the Sacred Art Tour brings greater cultural understanding for the Chapel Hill-Carrboro community.