Baruch College Welcomes Tibetan Monks from South India's Namdroling Monastery

Traditional Sand Mandala to be Built on September 4

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Tibetan monks create a sand mandala using colored sand   A close-up photo of a completed sand mandela
(Left) Tibetan monks create a sand mandala using colored sand.
(Right) A close-up photo of a completed sand mandala.

NEW YORK, NY – August 30, 2012 Baruch College is bringing a Tibetan tradition to campus as part of the Baruch-Rubin Museum of Art Project. On September 4, Tibetan monks from Namdroling Monastery in South India will build a sand mandala beginning at 8 a.m. in the Multi-purpose Room, located in the College’s Newman Vertical Campus Building. The sand mandala will be completed at 6:30 p.m. and followed by a traditional dismantling ceremony and presentation.

The Baruch-Rubin Museum of Art Project, established in July 2010, aims to enrich students’ college experience and improve their critical thinking skills through exposure and participation in the arts. Baruch College was awarded a five-year grant of $1 million ($200,000 per year) by the Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation. Since the partnership was established, the Baruch College-Rubin Museum Project has supported 18 faculty to explore ways to enhance the college experience for students by incorporating the arts throughout the Baruch curriculum.

Dr. Stan Altman, Director of the Baruch-Rubin Museum of Art Project and Professor of Public Affairs, worked with Dr. Laurence Kirby, Professor of Mathematics, who received a Baruch-Rubin summer grant to explore the use of mandalas in mathematics to explain the concept of symmetry.

A mandala is a circular diagram, highly technical and precise, representing an idealized Tantric Buddhist, Hindu or Bon Meditational Deity and surrounding idealized universe, the container and contained, animate and inanimate. Mandalas are painted on cloth, on the ceilings of temples, as murals, fashioned from metal, wood or stone, textiles and sometimes from colored thread and also meticulously created from colored sand.

The project, which is being done in collaboration with Student Life and the Non-profit Leadership Alliance, will be led by the Tibetan monks who include: Khenchen Tsewang Gyatso Rinpoche, Lama Rapjee Wangchuk, Lama Jigmey Tenzin, Lama Tenzin Chogyal, Lama Passang, and Lama Tashi.

Traditional mandalas usually take between 4-7 days to build and measure 8 feet by 8 feet. The mandala that will be created at Baruch will be built in one day and measure 4 feet by 4 feet when it’s complete.

EVENT DETAILS:
WHAT:  Traditional sand mandala ceremony presented by Tibetan monks from Namdroling Monastery in South India
WHEN: From 8:00 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., September 4
WHERE:  Baruch College’s Newman Vertical Campus Building
Multi-purpose Room (first floor), located at 55 Lexington Avenue

Media are invited to take photos and interview the monks who will be constructing the sand mandala

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About Baruch College:
Baruch College is a senior college in the City University of New York (CUNY) with a total enrollment of more than 17,000 students, who represent 160 countries and speak more than 100 languages. Ranked among the top 15% of U.S. colleges and the No. 3 public regional university, Baruch College is regularly recognized as among the most ethnically diverse colleges in the country. As a public institution with a tradition of academic excellence, Baruch College offers accessibility and opportunity for students from every corner of New York City and from around the world. For more about Baruch College, go to http://www.baruch.cuny.edu/.

MEDIA CONTACTS:
Manny Romero, (646) 660-6141, manuel.romero@baruch.cuny.edu
Mercedes Sanchez, (646) 660-6112, mercedes.sanchez@baruch.cuny.edu
Celene McDermott, (646) 660-6134,celene.mcdermott@baruch.cuny.edu