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"Canada can, within a positive friendly atmosphere, ask the Chinese government to resolve the Tibetan situation."

Monks spend week interacting with Colgate community

December 15, 2007

By Brittany Messenger
Colgate University News & Events, NY
December 14, 2007

sand mandalaA week of observation and interaction marked the weeklong
visit of two Tibetan monks to the Colgate campus last month.

Tenzin Thutop and Tenzin Wangchuk, from the Namgyal Monastery in Ithaca,
N.Y., spent hours painstakingly placing millions of grains of colored
sand to create a sand mandala in Case Library and Geyer Center for
Information Technology.

Students used study breaks to watch the monks in action, occasionally
asking questions and writing comments in a guest book.

The Buddhist Students' Association and Case-Geyer administrators, in
conjunction with Professor Vic Mansfield's Core Tibet course, planned
other events to make the most of the monks' time on campus.

The monks led meditation in the Chapel, adding to the weekly Buddhist
reflections and providing students a chance to talk with them about
various Buddhist practices.

Tibetan scholar Craig Preston spoke about mandalas and Thomas Brackett,
Colgate professor emeritus and founder of the Brackett Education Fund in
Burma/Myanmar, gave a talk about his group's nonprofit work with Burmese

Members of the Buddhist Student Association also took the monks to The
Barge coffeehouse for an informal discussion over cups of tea and warm
baked goods.

At the end of their stay on campus, the monks held a dissolution
ceremony. After spending a week creating the vivid and intricate Wheel
of Compassion Mandala, the monks brushed the sand away and threw it all
into Taylor Lake.

Students, faculty and community members watched as the sand was
dissolved into the water, symbolizing the release of the compassion of
the deity over the community.
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