GENEVA, NY – A Tibetan monk from the Dalai Lama’s personal monastery has joined the faculty at Hobart and William Smith Colleges for the upcoming academic year and is beginning a unique art exhibit.
The Venerable Tenzin Yignyen is a very high ranking monk as there are only 60 or so monks belonging to the Dalai Lama’s personal monastery. Tenzin, as he prefers to be called, will be teaching one course each term in Tibetan art, Buddhism, or Asian studies. In addition, he plans to instruct a co-curricular meditation class.
But what makes his stay even more unique is the art project he intends to begin this week. Tenzin plans to construct an oriental art form called a sand mandala in the atrium of the L. Thomas Melly Academic Center. Creating the mandala will take the full term. Of added interest, the sand art will be destroyed once complete and poured into Seneca Lake. Destroying his creation is symbolic of the Tibetan’s belief of the insignificance of man-made creations.
Acting Dean of Faculty Susan Henking said Tenzin brings great benefit toward the Colleges inter-cultural understanding.
“Tenzin brings Tibetan and eastern philosophy to a campus with a strong Asian studies program. This is an exciting opportunity for the students and others to come to encounter Tibetan culture,” Henking said.