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<-Back to WTN Archives Tibetan monks leave colorful art at Bernheim (LCJ)
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World Tibet Network News

Published by the Canada Tibet Committee

Monday, August 29, 2005



2. Tibetan monks leave colorful art at Bernheim (LCJ)


By Bill Wolfe
Louisville Courier-Journal
29 Aug 2005

There was a touch of Tibet yesterday at the Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest, as Buddhist
monks from the Drepung Gomang Monastery concluded a weeklong cultural and artistic outreach.

At the end of the "Sacred Art of the Snows" program, which included a touring exhibition of
Tibetan art, seven monks presented two colorfully decorated "mani stones" that were painted at
Bernheim and will be placed on a trail in the forest.

The stones were painted with the Tibetan chant "Om Mani Padme Hum," a blessing of peace and
compassion, said Lungtok, one of the monks, through interpreter Tenzin Dolma.The exhibit, which
began last Monday and included events in Louisville, was a way to share and preserve the Tibetan
culture, which Lungtok said has been under attack by the Chinese authorities occupying Tibet for
more than 50 years. The monks, all Tibetan refugees, live at the Drepung Gomang Monastery
re-established in India after the Chinese forced all but 200 to 300 of 10,000 monks from the
original monastery.

The monks in the tour are considered the best artists in the 1,800-member community in India, said
Julie Schweitzer, art coordinator at Bernheim, in Clermont, Ky.

In addition to the two large pieces of Tennessee slate that the monks painted, the display had
about 100 small stones collected from the Bernheim grounds and painted by visitors over the
weekend. Rain delayed plans to place all the stones on a dry creek bed, but ceremonial chants and
a dedication ceremony were completed yesterday in the forest's visitors center.

"I think that it's really important that we work to preserve traditional art forms and traditional
music," Schweitzer said. "And I think Kentucky can benefit by the influence of the art that we've
had here."

Erin Moss and Matt Shaughnessy of Louisville said they came across the presentation of the stones
by accident after the rain forced them into the center during their visit to the forest.

"I enjoyed the chanting," Moss said. "It was very melodic and fascinating."

The presentation was "pretty interesting," Shaughnessy said. "It's something you don't see every
day."

Beth and Steve Beam of Louisville had seen the monks when the Tibetans made a previous visit to
Bernheim, and the couple brought their children, Carolyn, 7, and Sam, 2, for yesterday's ceremony.
Beth Beam and her daughter teamed up to paint one of the smaller mani stones.

"My daughter loved it," Beam said. "She was very excited."

The tour will travel through 16 states and nine Canadian provinces. A return trip to Bernheim is
planned for Dec. 26 through Jan. 6, said Carol Stewart, executive director of the Drepung Gomang
Institute in Louisville, which works to preserve Tibetan culture and give Americans an opportunity
to study Tibetan Buddhist traditions and philosophy.


Articles in this Issue:
  1. Seattle Tibetan leader returns to homeland (TST)
  2. Tibetan monks leave colorful art at Bernheim (LCJ)
  3. NGOs Hold Election Awareness Programme (Phayul)
  4. Tibetan nuns thrive in exile - Project supports 600 Buddhists (SPI)



Other articles this month - WTN Index - Mail the WTN-Editors

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