Religion Program Events

Monday, May 6, 2019 – Friday, May 10, 2019

Sand Mandala Construction


From Monday, May 6 to Friday, May 10, the Venerable Tenzin Yignyen, a Tibetan monk from the Dalai Lama’s personal monastery and professor of Tibetan Buddhist Studies at Hobart and William Smith Colleges, will construct a sand mandala of the Buddha of Compassion in the lobby of the Reem-Kayden Center on Bard College campus.  Community members are invited to observe the process of construction and to speak with Lama Tenzin during his work, from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm each weekday.  On Friday, the mandala will be dismantled, and the sand taken in procession to the waterfall on Bard campus, where it will be sent off towards the Hudson River and the Atlantic Ocean.

“Mandala is an ancient Buddhist art form used for meditation, as taught by the Buddha Shakyamuni 2,500 years ago,” says Lama Tenzin. “It is said that the seed of enlightenment in each person’s mind is nourished by the dynamic process of visualizing and contemplating a mandala. The mandala is also a visual form of Buddha’s enlightened compassion and wisdom.”

The Venerable Tenzin Yignyen is a high-ranking monk belonging to Namgyal Monastery, the Dalai Lama’s personal monastery, where about 60 monks are in residence. He was born in the Tibetan village of Phari, and fled with his family to Bhutan after the 1959 Chinese invasion of Tibet. Monastery trained, he earned master of sutra and tantra. He has taught and constructed mandalas at many places, including Los Angeles’s Natural History Museum, Windstar Foundation, Cleveland Museum of Art, Rochester’s Memorial Art Gallery, The Asia Society, Trinity College, St. Lawrence College, and Cornell University. He has taught at Hobart and William Smith Colleges since 1998.  He has visited Bard College since 2007; this will be his seventh mandala-construction here.

This event is sponsored by the Warren Hutcheson Fund, administered through the Religion and Asian Studies Programs.
Time: 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
Location: Reem-Kayden Center Lobby
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