Venerable Tenzin Yignyen was featured in a newspaper story about Spiritual Journey Week at St. Andrew's School in Boca Raton, Fla., where he created a mandala and talked with students about the ephemeral nature of life.
Nothing is permanent, said Yignyen: beginning with nine months in their mothers' wombs, time spent in school, jobs, cars, homes. He urged the students to find happiness in non-materialistic ways, by being compassionate and peaceful.
“If you have that understanding, your life will be very easy,” he said. “Don't become a slave of money.”
St. Andrew's enrolls 1,069 day and boarding students in kindergarten through grade 12. Its faculty includes Dot Emer '53, (with him, above) who works in the library there. She was featured in the video that launched Campaign for the Colleges with her “roommate,” Lauren Shallish '05.
Yignyen, an instructor in Asian Languages and Cultures since 1998, was ordained as a monk and entered Namgyal Monastery in Dharmsala, India in 1969. He completed studies of the monastery, including the monastic rituals and philosophical studies. In 1985, he received the monastery's highest degree, “Master of Sutra and Tantra” with highest honor, which is equivalent to a Ph.D.
He has constructed sand mandalas in many different venues, including colleges and schools, art museums, Times Square in New York City and at the Smithsonian Folk Life Festival in Washington, D.C. He has also constructed mandalas in Moscow and St. Petersburg in Russia.