Times of Trenton
By Rich Cuccagna
on December 12, 2014
PRINCETON — In early December, the Monks of Drepung Gomang visited The Hun School of Princeton for seven days.
Members of the Sacred Art Tour, the eight monks shared their traditions and spirituality with The Hun School community through a series of art workshops, lectures, and demonstrations. Their visit marks the beginning of the 2014 – 2015 Speaker Series: A Global Perspective and coincides with the opening of the Wilf Family Global Commons.
The monks were as joyful as they were reverent during their stay at The Hun School. They began and ended each day with prayers and chanting in the Student Center. In between, they taught students how to paint mani stones, create butter sculptures, and meditate. Students and faculty enjoyed a cooking demonstration, a meal of momos and Tibetan noodles, as well as a cultural pageant featuring the Snow Lion dance, Good Luck dance, and a demonstration in the art of debate. The highlight of the their visit was the creation of the Peace Mandala, an elaborate sand sculpture requiring five days to complete.
The Drepung Gomang monks are Tibetan Buddhist refugees, most of whom fled Tibet, on foot, through the Himalayas at a very young age to escape conflict in their native region. The Drepung Gomang monastery was founded in Tibet in 1416 and is now located in southern India. Since its beginning, Gomang College has produced many eminent Buddhist masters and has been a very important Tibetan and Buddhist learning center. Each of the colleges of Drepung has its specialty, and the focus of Gomang is philosophy: logic and debate.