Friday, February 1, 2013

Tibetan monks leave TXST students with cultural taste

Hundreds of observers file in to LBJ's hallway to
watch the closing ceremony of the Common Experience
Photo by: Jordan Brewer 
By: Jordan Brewer

The concept behind the 2013 spring Common Experience for Texas State students was more than entertainment, the committee wanted students and faculty to experience something new and fresh.

The Tibetan monks have been more than impressed with the experience while they have been at Texas State University this past week according to spokesperson Lobsang Dhondup. Although they are pleased with their experience, the objective in mind was to leave a lasting impression with the members of the university.

"(The experience) is more than we expected," Dhondup said. "We have a lot of students coming to us and asking questions. We want to have compassion with our activities. We were able to practice and provide a sense of peace to the students."

The Common Experiences have always been a way to bring culturally different aspects to students and faculty. In the fall, author and speaker Kelsey Timmerman told stories of his international travels to thousands of Texas State students with hopes that they would start to pay attention to the cultures and nations of the world around them.

This spring's Common Experience has the same goal in mind. The Tibetan monks purpose is a whole lot more than an "hour long show" according to Music Professor Daris Hale. They intend to provide a moving, spritually sound "enlightenment."

"We were looking for international groups," Hale said. "We were looking for a group that would bring something that was not very common here. It was more than a one-hour show that students could come see, but a more meaningful experience of their practices and rituals."

Hale made the recommendation with the Texas State students and faculty in mind, hoping they could learn a thing or two about the world around them but also to enjoy the process. While the Tibetan monks were busy focusing on their mandala which took a week to complete, students were working on their own mandala, one in the form of Texas State's cornerstone, Old Main.

The Common Experience has been successful yet again and not just due to the tremendous turnout but more because of the involvement of the surrounding community. Co-chairmen of the Common Experience, Diann McCabe, loved the idea Hale recommended because of new and exciting traditions it would provide for the local supporters.

"When anyone makes a recommendation, everyone says 'that's great let's figure out how that would be,'" McCabe said. "[Hale] did a lot of work to bring in information about (the Tibetan monks). (We wanted) the students to be curious about the world and to know they are not just an individual on this campus but that they are a lot of beautiful experiences in the world that they should see."

The "Mystical Arts of Tibet" brought not only dances, a mandala and rhythmic overtures to their blessings for San Marcos but also a peak of Eastern cultures.But also a glimmer of peace and common unity for the world. It brought the traditions of Tibet and Texas State together for five very memorable days.
The student-made mandala which was creatively depicting Texas State's cornerstone, Old Main.
Photo by: Jordan Brewer

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