Dad of Divas' Reviews: AMNH Festival: Meditation, Dance, and Tibetan Art - January 25-30

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

AMNH Festival: Meditation, Dance, and Tibetan Art - January 25-30




Six-Day Festival to Offer Monastic Meditation, Dance, and Tibetan Art

In Conjunction with Museum Exhibition Brain: The Inside Story

In Addition, New Exhibition Body and Spirit: Tibetan Medical Paintings
To Open January 25

WHEN            Tuesday, January 25–Sunday, January 30
Program dates listed below.  For times and details, call 212-769-5315 or visit

WHAT            The American Museum of Natural History presents Global Weekends: Brain and the Tibetan Creative Mind, a six-day festival of mostly free programming celebrating Tibetan culture that invites audience members to participate in meditation, learn monastic dances, experience the making of a sand mandala, and more.

Khen Rinpoche Geshe Kachen Lobzang Tsetan and monks will demonstrate how meditation is an integral part of Tibetan arts and how it influences the brain.  Highlights include:

·         Tibetan Meditation Sessions Led by Khen Rinpoche Geshe Kachen Lobzang Tsetan : Learn the basic techniques of meditation as practiced in Tibet by monastics and lay people. Explore how meditation on the Four Immeasurables—love, compassion, joy, and equanimity—combined with insight into the nature of phenomena can bring greater serenity of mind to people of all faiths. (Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday)  Advanced registration is required for meditation sessions. To register, please contact 212-769-5200.     

·         Sand Mandala: Making of the “Medicine Buddha”: Of all the artistic traditions of Tantric Buddhism, the sand mandala is one of the most exquisite.  It can take three to five days to complete the intricate designs, which are created with grains of colored sand to depict the palace of the Buddhas. At completion, the sand mandala is destroyed in accordance with tradition. (Tuesday – Sunday)

·         Tibetan Monastic Art Exchange: Learn basic sand mandala making, chanting, and hand gestures (mudras). (Tuesday – Sunday)

·         Cham Performance: Wearing masks and costumes in vibrant colors, monks dance to the music of drums and long horns. They evoke the activities of the wrathful Dharma protectors, supernatural beings sworn to protect diligent practitioners of Buddhism. (Wednesday and Saturday)

·         Opening and Closing Ceremonies: Monks offer chants and prayers to first clear away obstacles and attract auspicious influences before the creation of the sand mandala, and then again when it is complete, sending the eight wise Medicine Buddhas, who have dwelt in the mandala back to their natural abodes. (Tuesday and Sunday)

·         Tibetan Meditation, Brain, and the Arts*: Panel discussion on the training of Tibetan monks, recent brain research on long-term meditators in the Tibetan tradition, and the practice of meditation in the West.  (Thursday)

·         Change Your Brain by Transforming Your Mind: Meditation produces changes in brain function that promotes well-being and affects physical health and illness.  Richard J. Davidson, director of the Center for Investigating Healthy Minds at the Waisman Center at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, will discuss some key findings and challenges in the nascent field of contemplative neuroscience. (Saturday)

This program is presented in conjunction with Brain: The Inside Story, an exhibition that offers visitors a new perspective and keen insight into their own brains through imaginative art, vivid brain-scan imaging, and dynamic interactive exhibits. Additionally, the festival coincides with the opening of Body and Spirit: Tibetan Medical Paintings, a new Museum exhibition that features 64 Tibetan medical paintings (also known as tangkas) which provide a unique and rich illustrated history of early medical knowledge and procedures in Tibet.

WHERE          American Museum of Natural History

ADMISSION Free with Museum admission
*Tibetan Meditation, Brain, and the Arts is a paid program.

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