The University of New Mexico's Maxwell Museum of Anthropology is hosting the Tibetan monks of the Gaden Shartse Monastery, Thursday-Sunday, Sept. 8-11 as part of the 2011 Sacred Earth & Healing Arts Tour. The monks will present a series of programs including the creation and dissolution of the Green Tara sand mandala, Tara Puja chanting and ritual, and Journey to the Roof of the World: Sacred Dance and Chants of Tibet, a full program of chant and sacred dance.

The purpose of the tour is to be of service to the world community by nurturing the spread of peace, harmony, compassion and tolerance through educational and cultural exchange, and to raise funds needed to preserve Tibetan culture and education at Gaden Shartse Monastery, located in the Tibetan Refugee Settlement in Mundgod, India. The monastery, founded in 1409 CE, is considered one of the three great monasteries of Tibet.

The four day schedule:

Opening Ceremony 
Thursday, Sept. 8 at 10 a.m. 

"Green Tara Sand Mandala"
Thursday – Sunday, Sep. 8- 11
Maxwell Museum Hibben Center   
Mandala Creation daily from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.

The monks create a two-dimensional sand mandala; a cosmic diagram that represents the dwelling place or celestial mansion of a deity. Mandala means, "that which extracts the essence." 

The Dissolution Ceremony
Sunday, Sept. 11 at noon

Upon completion of the mandala it is ritually dissolved. As a lesson in impermanence, the blessed sand is swept up into a pile and small portions offered to those present. The rest of the sand will be taken to the Rio Grande where, after a short ceremony, it will be poured into the river to bless and purify Albuquerque and all sentient beings. Free and Open to all.

"Tara Puja Chanting & Ritual"
Friday, Sept. 9 at 8 p.m.    
Anthropology, room 163   

The monks, in full ritual dress, perform ancient Tibetan Buddhist chanting in front of an altar to Green Tara created specifically for this program. Ancient Tibetan multi-phonic chanting is a rare and unique experience created by monks singing a chord containing two or three tones simultaneously. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased at the box office at the UNM bookstore, online at UNM Tickets, or at the Maxwell.

"Journey to the Roof of the World:

Sacred Dance and Chants of Tibet"

Saturday, Sept. 10 at 8 p.m.   
Kimo Theater

Experience the rare sounds and dramatic imagery of Tibetan sacred dances, music and chants. This is a complete stage performance with ornate costumes and set decoration, presenting eight different performances in two 45 minute segments separated by a short intermission. Tickets are $15, $20, $25 and can be purchased online at Kimo Tickets or at the Kimo box office

The Maxwell Museum is located at the University of New Mexico, just north of Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. and Redondo Dr., on the west side of the campus. Parking on campus is free at all non-reserved "surface" spaces from 6 p.m. Friday, and noon on Sunday.

Thursday & Friday, paid parking is available at University and Maple "You Park it" (next to the Church) or at UNM parking structures at Popejoy and at Lomas.