See the mystical artistry & ancient chants of Tibetan monks at Asia Society

tibetan-monks-mandala-sand-painting-music-asia-society-texas-center
Drepung Loseling Monastery | Photo courtesy of Asia Society Texas Center

See intricate art created before your eyes and witness ancient temple music and dance when the Tibetan Buddhist monks of Drepung Loseling Monastery return to Asia Society Texas Center from Thursday, August 10 through Sunday, August 13, 2017.

Beloved during their last visits, the monks will once again create a mandala sand painting in the Education Center at Asia Society Texas Center, which will be free to visit and admire until it is complete.

In addition, the multiphonic singers of the Drepung Loseling Monastery will stage a performance of the acclaimed Sacred Music Sacred Dance for World Healing on Saturday night, August 12, 2017.

Mandala Sand Painting 

Beginning with an opening ceremony on Thursday, August 10, the monks will construct a mandala sand painting.

This artistic tradition of Tantric Buddhism, painting with colored sand, ranks as one of the most unique and exquisite. Millions of grains of sand are meticulously laid into place on a flat platform over a period of days or weeks to form the image of a mandala.

To date, the monks from Drepung Loseling Monastery have created mandala sand paintings in more than 100 museums, art centers, and colleges and universities in the United States and Europe.

While the mandala is being made, the public is welcome to come and witness the its creation. Admission is not guaranteed during high traffic times and will be granted on a first come, first served basis.

After the mandala sand painting is complete on Sunday afternoon, it will be dismantled in a closing ceremony at 3pm. The sand will be distributed to the audience at that time, while supplies last.

A live stream of the mandala creation will be made available online, with a new link provided each day. Click here for more information about the event and the creation of the mandala sand paining.

Sacred Music Sacred Dance for World Healing
Sacred Music Sacred Dance for World Healing | Photo courtesy of Asia Society Texas Center

Sacred Music Sacred Dance for World Healing

Following last year’s sold-out concert at Asia Society, the famed multiphonic singers of Tibet’s Drepung Loseling Monastery return to perform Sacred Music Sacred Dance for World Healing.

Their sellout performances in Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center received national acclaim, and were praised as “remarkable” by The New York Times and “a universal expression of the human subconscious” by The Washington Post.

Robed in magnificent costumes and playing traditional Tibetan instruments, the Drepung Loseling monks will perform ancient temple music and dance.

The Loseling monks are particularly renowned for their multiphonic chanting known as zokkay (complete chord). Each of the main chantmasters simultaneously intones three notes, thus each individually creating a complete chord.

They also utilize traditional instruments such as 10-foot-long dung chen horns, drums, bells, cymbals, and gyaling trumpets. Rich brocade costumes and masked dances, such as the Dance of the Sacred Snow Lion, add to the exotic splendor.

Tickets for the 7pm performance are $35; $25 for museum members. Click here to order tickets or call 713-496-9901. They are expected to sell out.

Schedule of Events for the Monks of Drepung Loseling Monastery

Thursday, August 10, 2017

  • Opening Ceremony for the Mandala Sand Painting | FREE – The creation of the mandala sand painting starts with an opening ceremony, during which the lamas consecrate the site and call forth the forces of goodness through chanting, music, and mantra recitation. The lamas then begin the painting by drawing an outline of the mandala on a wooden platform. In the following days, they lay the colored sands using a traditional metal funnel called a chakpur. Noon to 6pm.

Friday, August 11, 2017

  • Community Viewing Hours | FREE – Watch the monks of Drepung Loseling Monastery   continue the intricate creation of the mandala sand painting. 10am to 6pm.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

  • Community Viewing Hours | FREE – Watch the monks of Drepung Loseling Monastery continue the intricate creation of the mandala sand painting. 10am to 6pm.
  • Community Mandala Creation | FREE – Guests are invited to take part in the art by contributing to a separate community sand painting on Saturday. Instruction will be given on how to use the chakpur to fill in the design with sand. 12pm to 4pm.
  • Sacred Music and Dance for World Healing – Robed in magnificent costumes and playing traditional Tibetan instruments, the Drepung Loseling monks perform ancient temple music and dance intended to kindle world healing. The Loseling monks are particularly renowned for their multiphonic chanting known as zokkay (complete chord) and are the only culture on earth that cultivates this most extraordinary vocal ability. Each of the main chantmasters simultaneously intones three notes, thus each individually creating a complete chord. Tickets are $35; $25 for museum members. Click here to order tickets or call 713-496-9901. 7pm.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

  • Closing Ceremony for the Mandala Sand Painting | FREE  The monks will dismantle the mandala, sweeping up the colored sands to symbolize the impermanence of life. The sand will be distributed to the audience at the closing ceremony, while supplies last. 3pm.
Sacred Music Sacred Dance for World Healing
Sacred Music Sacred Dance for World Healing | Photo courtesy of Asia Society Texas Center

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