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"We Tibetans are looking for a legitimate and meaningful autonomy, an arrangement that would enable Tibetans to live within the framework of the People’s Republic of China."

Tibetan monks to share culture at Confluence Interpretive Center Aug. 26-30

August 17, 2009

The Jamestown Sun
August 14, 2009

The Missouri-Yellowstone Confluence Interpretive
Center near Williston will host a unique
humanitarian project the week of Aug. 26 through
Aug. 30. Two Tibetan Buddhist monks will be at
the site creating an offering known as a sand mandala.

The Missouri-Yellowstone Confluence Interpretive
Center near Williston will host a unique
humanitarian project the week of Aug. 26 through
Aug. 30. Two Tibetan Buddhist monks will be at
the site creating an offering known as a sand mandala.

The monks’ visit is sponsored by the Tibetan
Children’s Foundation in hopes of increasing
awareness of this cultural confluence through an
in-depth view of Tibetan art and culture.

The sand mandala is formed from a traditionally
prescribed iconography that includes geometric
shapes and a multitude of ancient spiritual
symbols, and is used as a tool for reconsecrating
Earth and its inhabitants. A sand mandala
consists of millions of grains of colored sand
painstakingly placed over a period of days or
weeks. The completed work will be an intricately
detailed and beautiful piece of circular artwork
about five feet by five feet in size.

An opening ceremony will take place Wednesday,
Aug. 26, at 2 p.m. Central Time at the Confluence
Center. The monks will then begin their exacting
work of drawing the line design for the mandala.

The mandala construction will begin Thursday,
Aug. 27, and continue through Sunday, Aug. 30,
lasting from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day. The
public is welcome to come at any time to view the
monks at work and visit with them about their
culture. Tibetan paintings and finger foods will
be available for visitors to enjoy.

Visitors will be invited to participate in a
consecration ceremony August 30 at 3 p.m. At that
time, the mandala will be dismantled and
dispersed symbolically. The remaining sand will
be carried in a procession of the monks and
guests down to the Missouri and Yellowstone
Rivers, where it will be ceremoniously poured
into the flowing body of water to disperse the healing energies of the mandala.

Located 22 miles southwest of Williston, the
Missouri-Yellowstone Confluence Interpretive
Center is open year-round. It is considered part
of the Fort Buford State Historic Site, also
managed by the state’s history agency, the State
Historical Society of North Dakota. Now through
September 15, its hours are 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
seven days a week. Admission is $5 for adults,
$2.50 for children, ages 6-15. Children age 5 and
under are admitted free. The fee also covers
admission to the Fort Buford State Historic Site,
located 1/2 mile west of the Confluence Center.
CTC National Office 1425 René-Lévesque Blvd West, 3rd Floor, Montréal, Québec, Canada, H3G 1T7
T: (514) 487-0665   ctcoffice@tibet.ca
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