Emory's Carlos Museum finds its center with 'Mandala: Sacred Circle in Tibetan Buddhism'

by Jon Ciliberto, clatl.com, Mar 14, 2012

Atlanta, GA (USA) -- Emory University's Michael C. Carlos Museum, an often-overlooked gem for local art and culture, is exhibiting Mandala: Sacred Circle in Tibetan Buddhism through April 15. Mandala brings to Atlanta many rare and beautiful Buddhist thangkas, or paintings, along with other objects intended for initiation and meditation.

<< Kimbell Art Museum
Four Mandalas of the Vajravali Series, c. 1429—56, Central Tibet, Tsang (Ngor Monastery), Sakya order, Thangka, gouache on cotton, KKimbell Art Museumimbell Art Museum

Mandalas are a kind of technology for meditation, meant to work with personal practice to achieve spiritual insight and liberation. The most common mandalas in Tibetan Buddhist art place a deity at the center of a palace filled with other deities and iconography. This palace is an individual and a cosmological map that lines up with a highly proscribed set of meditational practices so that an individual may see him or herself as the central deity. In fact, Buddhist philosophy describes individual and deity as one and the same.

Mandalas act as visual tools for meditators. The basics of mandala practice are fairly easy to imagine - think about a golfer on the green visualizing Arnold Palmer putting in order to perfect his own stroke.

Although intended for monks, religious art in Tibet touched nearly every aspect of society. For many centuries, Tibet was at the center of a vast Empire, trading with Nepal, India, Persia, China, and Central Asia. In addition to bringing technology and high-level artisans, this trade delivered to Tibet a fantastic range of artistic styles. The painted mandalas on display at the Carlos Museum are fantastically detailed, including myriad deities, monks, and symbols. Their arrangement in circular forms adheres to iconographic conventions, from the colors used to the placement of elements.

A mandala from Dallas' Kimbell Museum is so meticulously painted that even on closest inspection it’s difficult to discern irregularities; It looks as thought it was printed using modern technology, rather than being created by hand 600 years ago.

The exhibit features rare forms of the mandala: The 18th-century Mahakala (Tibet’s protector diety) is unusual for its large central triangle and absence of central deity. Instead, objects symbolic of deities and practice are present, placed with unusual, lotus-shaped palaces. The mandala’s minimalistic design includes some gruesome imagery: flayed human skin, skulls, and intestines, all designed to remind the viewer how transient and unsustainable human life is.

A mandala beautifully decorated with flowers also elides deities, showing instead empty thrones to connote the “thus gone” aspect of the historical Buddha Shakyamuni and his 16 Arhats (acolytes). Tucked away amid the blossoms are wish-fulfilling jewels and ducks in ponds, while deer, traditional symbols for Shakyamuni adorn the four gates.

In addition to painted mandalas, the exhibition includes cosmological paintings, sculptures, and a fantastic, one-of-a-kind three-dimensional wooden carved model of the Guhyasamaja Mandala.

In association with this exhibition, Oglethorpe's Museum of Art has another kind of mandala on display: images created by patients of the psychoanalyst C.G. Jung. Jung used art as therapy, instructing his patients to create images as a means of expressing the conscious and unconscious, and clarifying mental obstacles.

----------

Mandala: Sacred Circle in Tibetan Buddhism runs through April 15 at Emory's the Carlos Museum. The Sacred Round: Mandalas by the Patients of C.G. Jung runs through May 6 at Oglethorpe.

We Need Your Help to Train the
Buddhist AI Chat Bot
NORBU!
(Neural Omniscient Robotic-Being for Buddhist Understanding)



For Malaysians who wants to donate in MYR, please use the following account:

Account Name: Bodhi Vision
Account No:. 2122 00000 44661
Bank: RHB

The SWIFT/BIC code for RHB Bank Berhad is: RHBBMYKLXXX
Address: 11-15, Jalan SS 24/11, Taman Megah, 47301 Petaling Jaya, Selangor
Phone: 603-9206 8118

Note: Please indicate your name in the payment slip. Thank you.


Dear Friends in the Dharma,

We seek your generous support to help us train NORBU, the word's first Buddhist AI Chat Bot.

Here are some ways you can contribute to this noble cause:

One-time Donation or Loan: A single contribution, regardless of its size, will go a long way in helping us reach our goal and make the Buddhist LLM a beacon of wisdom for all.

How will your donation / loan be used? Download the NORBU White Paper for details.



For Malaysians who wants to donate in MYR, please use the following account:

Account Name: Bodhi Vision
Account No:. 2122 00000 44661
Bank: RHB

The SWIFT/BIC code for RHB Bank Berhad is: RHBBMYKLXXX
Address: 11-15, Jalan SS 24/11, Taman Megah, 47301 Petaling Jaya, Selangor
Phone: 603-9206 8118

Note: Please indicate your purpose of payment (loan or donation) in the payment slip. Thank you.

Once payment is banked in, please send the payment slip via email to: editor@buddhistchannel.tv. Your donation/loan will be published and publicly acknowledged on the Buddhist Channel.

Spread the Word: Share this initiative with your friends, family and fellow Dharma enthusiasts. Join "Friends of Norbu" at: https://www.facebook.com/groups/norbuchatbot. Together, we can build a stronger community and create a positive impact on a global scale.

Volunteer: If you possess expertise in AI, natural language processing, Dharma knowledge in terms of Buddhist sutras in various languages or related fields, and wish to lend your skills, please contact us. Your knowledge and passion could be invaluable to our project's success.

Your support is part of a collective effort to preserve and disseminate the profound teachings of Buddhism. By contributing to the NORBU, you become a "virtual Bodhisattva" to make Buddhist wisdom more accessible to seekers worldwide.

Thank you for helping to make NORBU a wise and compassionate Buddhist Chatbot!

May you be blessed with inner peace and wisdom,

With deepest gratitude,

Kooi F. Lim
On behalf of The Buddhist Channel Team


Note: To date, we have received the following contributions for NORBU:
US$ 75 from Gary Gach (Loan)
US$ 50 from Chong Sim Keong
MYR 300 from Wilson Tee
MYR 500 from Lim Yan Pok
MYR 50 from Oon Yeoh
MYR 200 from Ooi Poh Tin
MYR 300 from Lai Swee Pin
MYR 100 from Ong Hooi Sian
MYR 1,000 from Fam Sin Nin
MYR 500 from Oh teik Bin
MYR 300 from Yeoh Ai Guat
MYR 300 from Yong Lily
MYR 50 from Bandar Utama Buddhist Society
MYR 1,000 from Chiam Swee Ann
MYR 1,000 from Lye Veei Chiew
MYR 1,000 from Por Yong Tong
MYR 80 from Lee Wai Yee
MYR 500 from Pek Chee Hen
MYR 300 from Hor Tuck Loon
MYR 1,000 from Wise Payments Malaysia Sdn Bhd
MYR 200 from Teo Yen Hua
MYR 500 from Ng Wee Keat
MYR 10,000 from Chang Quai Hung, Jackie (Loan)
MYR 10,000 from K. C. Lim & Agnes (Loan)
MYR 10,000 from Juin & Jooky Tan (Loan)
MYR 100 from Poh Boon Fong (on behalf of SXI Buddhist Students Society)
MYR 10,000 from Fam Shan-Shan (Loan)
MYR 10,000 from John Fam (Loan)
MYR 500 from Phang Cheng Kar
MYR 100 from Lee Suat Yee
MYR 500 from Teo Chwee Hoon (on behalf of Lai Siow Kee)
MYR 200 from Mak Yuen Chau

We express our deep gratitude for the support and generosity.

If you have any enquiries, please write to: editor@buddhistchannel.tv


TOP