Geneva, NY — Since he came to campus in September, the Venerable Tenzin Yignyen has garnered the attention of not only the Hobart and William Smith campus, but gained notice from the surrounding community. Busloads of high school students, community groups, church congregations, and individuals have traveled to campus to meet the Tibetan monk and to watch him create an oriental art form called a mandala.
And as Buddhist tradition requires, during the closing ceremony at 3:30 p.m. on Sunday, November 15, the Tibetan monk will sweep up his intricate and colorful sand creation, scoop the grains into a pot, and pour his creation into Seneca Lake. The action by Tenzin, as he prefers to be called, is done in recognition of life’s impermanence and the Tibetan’s belief of the insignificance of man-made creations.
The closing ceremony will begin in the atrium of the L. Thomas Melly Academic Center, where Tenzin has constructed his mandala. Tenzin, accompanied by other monks from the Dalai Lama’s personal monastery, will open with a brief ceremony, then Tenzin, and all in attendance, will walk across campus to Seneca Lake, where he will conclude the ceremony on the shore of the lake by pouring the sand into the water.
The entire ceremony is expected to take about 40 minutes. Following the ceremony, a reception is planned at the Delancey House where hot chocolate will be served. All are welcome to attend.
Tenzin joined the HWS faculty this academic year to complement the staff and aide in the Colleges’ pursuit for global awareness among its students. In addition to creating the mandala, Tenzin this term instructs a mediation class. For the remainder of the academic year, Tenzin will teach classes in Tibetan Buddhism and in art.