This week Dickinson College welcomed the monks of Drepung Gomang Monastery in India. Professor Dan Cozort (Religious Studies) took the lead in organizing the visit, which is supported by the LIASE, Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues, Center for Sustainability Education Grant, Departments of East Asian Studies and Religion, Center for Service, Spirituality, and Social Justice, Waidner-Spahr Library, and Division of Student Life. According to Prof. Cozort, this is the third time that the monks have visited Dickinson, with the last time being 20 years ago. From Wednesday to Saturday morning, the monks will construct a sand mandala dedicated to the Buddhist diety Tārā in the Waidner-Spahr Library.
On Tuesday evening, Prof. Cozort gave a brief introduction to the ritual and meaning of the Green Tārā. The lecture was followed by a puja, ritual chanting for the diety, performed by the eight monks. Prior to the lecture and chanting ritual, the Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues held a reception with faculty, staff, and students to welcome the monks.
On Wednesday evening, the monks also put on a performance of Tibetan culture in the Rubendall Recital Hall that included a lion dance.