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A Journey to the Roof of the World: Sacred Dance and Chants of Tibet
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Tickets for this show are $15, $20 and $25 (plus applicable service charges).
Tickets are available on-line and in person at the KiMo Box Office.
Come join us for an evening of sacred sounds from the roof of the world. Long hidden behind the Himalayan mountain ranges, the ancient Tibetan culture remained virtually untouched by the outside world for thousands of years. This incredible performance, filled with elaborate costumes, rich sounds, and movement, will transport you into the heart of their sacred land.
The performance includes ancient Tibetan multiphonic chanting, a rare and unique experience created by monks singing a chord containing two or three tones simultaneously. The special sound they create is not a simply a song, it is a sacred offering – an offering to the Buddhist deities for the benefit of all sentient beings. The deep, resonate, vibrant chords, representing the essence of the secret tantric teachings of Tibetan Buddhism, fill the room and transform both the environment and the audience with their powerful energy.
The Kangso (ritual of fulfillment) performance combines the rich sounds of Tibetan chanting with their ancient temple instruments to create an offering of melodious sounds. In the monastery the ritual is usually eighteen hours long, on the tour we are able to provide a small sampling of this precious offering.
The evening also includes excerpts of the sacred ritual dances of Tibetan Buddhism. These dances are not simply a performance; they are an ancient, spiritual ritual created to transform negativities and obstacles within our world system into positive, harmonious conditions. The origins of these dances have their roots steeped in the secret path of tantric Buddhism. At the monastery they are part of an elaborate ritual that can last from one day to two weeks.
The dances require years of intensive training as well as proper initiations to be performed properly. Throughout the dance every movement and ritual implement utilized have a deep and profound inner and outer meaning. The whole performance is a powerful, transformative experience operating on two levels. On one level the dancers are creating conducive conditions for enlightenment, while simultaneously purifying negativities and obstacles preventing it. Essentially, consciousness enters as a demon, is transformed, and exits as a deity.
This project is presented in collaboration with the Maxwell Museum of Anthropology. The Gaden Shartse monks will be creating a sand mandala at the museum on the UNM campus from September 8 to 11 and leading a chanting workshop on September 9.
Here is a full schedule of the Monk's visit:
Thursday-Sunday Sept. 8 - 11 Free Hibben Center
Green Tara Sand Mandala
Opening Ceremony Thursday Sept. 8, 10:00am
Mandala Creation Daily 9am - 5pm
Mandala means literally “that which extracts the essence.” The monks will create a two-dimensional sand mandala; a cosmic diagram that represents the dwelling place or celestial mansion of a deity. According to Tibetan Buddhist history, the purpose, meaning and the techniques involved in the spiritual art of the sand mandala creation were taught by Buddha Sakyamuni in the 6th century BCE in India. The Green Tara, symbol of enlightened activity will be created.
Dissolution Ceremony, Sunday approximately 12pm
Upon completion of the mandala there is a very special ritual to bless the mandala. It is then ritually dissolved. As a lesson in impermanence, the blessed sand is swept up into a pile then small portions are offered to those present. The rest of the sand will be taken to the Rio Grande where, after a short ceremony, it will be poured into the river to bless and purify Albuquerque and all its residents.
Friday Sept. 9, 8:00pm $10 - http://www.unmtickets.com Anthro 163
Tara Puja Chanting & Ritual
The monks, in full ritual dress, will perform ancient Tibetan Buddhist chanting in front of an altar to Green Tara created specifically for this program. The chants create a special connection between the one listening and Green Tara. Tara is the female manifestation of the Buddha’s omniscient mind. Tara is also known as the “Mother of all Buddhas” because she embodies wisdom – all Buddhas are born of this wisdom.
The Sacred Earth and Healing Arts of Tibet Tour has been visiting the United States since 1989 with a two-fold mission:
1. To be of service to the world community by helping to spread peace, harmony, compassion, and tolerance through cultural exchange, interfaith dialog, and Buddhist teachings.
2. To raise funds that will provide for the education, maintenance, housing, and medical needs of the monks at Gaden Shartse Monastery located in the Tibetan Refugee Settlement at Mundgod, India.
Funds raised on the 2010–2011 tour will be donated directly to the Gaden Shartse Education Project which is responsible for meeting the education needs of all the monastics. This includes supplies, teachers, technology, buildings, maintenance, and outreach.
Due to the kindness and generosity of the communities we visit, the monastery has been able to continue to keep its sacred teachings and traditions alive while living in exile at a refugee settlement in a very poor area of India. Established in 1409 CE in Tibet, the original monastery was completely destroyed during the Chinese invasion in the 1950s and had to be re-established in India. It has taken incredible effort in the face of unthinkable challenges to keep this precious unbroken lineage of teachings with us today.
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Photo of Lyle Lovett by Michael Wilson. Photos of the Guerrilla Girls, Suzanne Vega, Cowboy Junkies, Po Girl, Wagogo and Sam Bush by Alan Mitchell.