Tibetan Buddhist Monks Visit SMCM in Grand Style


St. Mary, Maryland (USA) -- On Monday, Sept. 15 twelve Tibetan Buddhist monks from Tibet’s Drepung Loseling Monastery opened their four-day visit designed to create an exquisite geometric sand painting, called a “mandala,” at St. Mary’s College of Maryland.

Spokesperson from the college, John Schroeder introduced the monks and answered a few questions from the audience prior to the ceremony’s beginning. One such question, “Did the monks travel all the way from India just to visit St. Mary’s College?” was answered, “No, the monastery chooses two masters and 10 students each year to travel the world to demonstrate the art and life of the Buddhists.

For the question, “Are they really monks? Schroeder answered, “Yes, most have been in training since they were boys.”

During the monks’ visit to SMCM, the local community will have opportunities to attend public lectures and watch the monks in ceremonial garb carefully construct the sand painting. The monks will painstakingly place millions of grains of sand into place on a flat platform over a period of days to form the image of a mandala.

“Mandala” is a Sanskrit word for the subject of a Tibetan sand painting. Formed of a traditional prescribed iconography that includes geometric shapes and a multitude of ancient spiritual symbols, the sand-painted mandala is used as a tool in Buddhism for re-consecrating the earth and its inhabitants. The design symbolizes the universe and its powers. It represents the world in its divine form, a map by which the ordinary human mind is transformed into an enlightened mind, and the perfect balance of the energies of the body and the clear dimension of the mind.

On Tuesday from 9 a.m. to noon and from 1 to 5 p.m., the monks will continue the effort as they pour millions of grains of colored sand into the mandala outline. At 5 p.m. there will be a lecture, “The Tibetan Buddhist Philosophy and Religion.” The construction continues throughout the day on Wednesday, and then at 5 p.m., there will be another lecture, “Symbolism of Mandala.” The senior monk in the delegation will describe the significance of the sand mandala.

The monks will complete the construction process on Thursday until 4 p.m. and then the closing ceremonies will be held at 5 p.m. During the closing ceremony, after continuing to create the mandala, the monks will dismantle it by sweeping up the colored sand. They will then lead a procession, which the public is invited to join, to a pond on campus. There, they will pour the sand into the water, symbolizing the Buddhist idea of the impermanence of life.

We Need Your Help to Train the
Buddhist AI Chat Bot
(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
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
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