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Chris Geissler '13 Helps Bring Mandala Artist to Campus

Chris Geissler '13 Helps
Bring Mandala Artist to Campus

by Stacey Kutish

Losang Samten
Losang Samten

Losang Samten, the spiritual director of the Tibetan Buddhist Center of Philadelphia, will spend next week on campus to create a mandala, or sand painting, at McCabe Library. Samten will also give a lecture, Tibetan Buddhism and the Art of Sand Mandalas, at 4:30 p.m. on Thurs., Sept. 9, in Science Center 101 in which he will discuss the history and philosophy of traditional Tibetan art forms and rituals. On Sept. 11, he will dismantle the mandala in a ceremony at 11:30 a.m.

"The mandala represents the coming together of a variety of ideas," says Chris Geissler '13, a member of the College's Buddhist community from Maplewood, N.J., who helped arrange for Samten's visit. "A uniquely Tibetan phenomenon, it uses a fascinating artistic medium to express sacred religious concepts, very carefully assembled yet all the more beautiful because of its impermanence. I'm honored that Losang is coming to our community."

Born in Tibet, Samten is a renowned Tibetan scholar and former Buddhist monk. His education includes studies at the Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts and the Namgyal Monastery, where he received the equivalent of a Ph.D. in Buddhist philosophy. His visit is sponsored by Swarthmore's Interfaith Center, Asian Studies, the Swarthmore College Library, Department of Religion, and Swarthmore's Buddhist community.