By Betsy Simon, Indiana State University
The community is invited to learn more about Buddhist practices when a group of Tibetan monks hosts a public presentation in Terre Haute on Sept. 20.
Indiana State University and the Center for Global Engagement will co-sponsor the presentation by seven monks from Tashi Kyil, a refugee monastery in Dehra Dun, India. The monks are on a six-month stay in the U.S., where they are spreading a message of wisdom and compassion and raising donations to support their monastery.
"This will be an authentic experience featuring different aspects of the Tibetan culture and Buddhism," said Jean Kristeller, Indiana State professor emeritus of psychology who helped set up the presentation, which will be held from 1-2:30 p.m. at the First Unitarian Universalist Congregation at 1875 S. Fruitridge Ave. in Terre Haute.
The monks will participate as part of the regular church service from 10:30-11:30 a.m., offering a very special opportunity to understand the spiritual experiences of a different culture, to which the public is also invited.
Following a potluck meal at noon, there will be a special community event from 1-2:30 p.m., where the monks will share a PowerPoint presentation on the special spirit of Tibetan Buddhist practices and traditional Tibetan meditation.
They also will perform a skeleton dance related to the Chod ceremony, a traditional ceremony with chanting to illustrate Tibetan Buddhist practices. The monks will be available for questions following their presentation.
The monks are based at the Tibetan-Mongolian Buddhist Cultural Center in Bloomington while in the U.S. Tashi Kyil has 120 monks, 50 of whom are children from Tibetan villages in the Himalayan regions and are sent to the monastery by their parents to receive health services and a Buddhist education.
While in the U.S., the monks teach Tibetan Buddhist meditation, present hands-on cultural workshops, offer prayer blessings to overcome negativities and perform rituals of chanting and dance related to meditation practice.
"The tour is important for Americans as the monks present a message of wisdom and compassion and also inform the public about the culture of Tibet, a country currently occupied by the Chinese Communists," said Mary Pattison, a board member for the Kumbum Chamtse Ling Monastery, which is housed on the cultural center's grounds and is dedicated to promotion of world peace and harmony.
More information about the monks can be found at tmbcc.org/info/tour.
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News Writer: Lucy Pery PHONE: 317-527-4141