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02june2011-02K02Dharamshala- Eight Tibetan Buddhist monks have been touring the United States promoting their unique culture and art. The Sacred Arts Tour 2011, performed by eight members of Drepung Gomang Monastic College of South Asia, will be wrapping up Thursday with an evening of Tibetan Culture and Performances at the 'Ackland Art Museum'; North Carolina.

The Tibetan monks will finalise their tour and cultural message to the Chapel Hill of the students of the University of North Carolina, through a series of detailed talks. In addition they will perform Tibetan ritual dances, and religious ceremonies. The tour is sponsored by the Drepung Gomang Institute, an American educational, nonprofit organization based out of Louisville, United States.

The aim for the monks touring the United States is threefold. Firstly, they wish to express a message of peace, compassion, love and kindness from their strong Tibetan Buddhist beliefs. Secondly, they hope to introduce their Tibetan and Buddhist culture to the wider world. Targeting the students of North Carolina is a very effective means of doing such.

The final goal of the monks is to raise donations for 2,000 members of Drepung Gomang Monastery; India. The Drepung Gomang Monastery was established in Southern India after territorial issues in Tibet, during which thousands of Tibetans were displaced or killed. The monastery is now home to 2,000 monks - including the eight Tibetans who are touring the United States.

The monks created a unique Tibetan Green Tara Sand Mandala during the tour. The specific meaning of Green Tara Sacred Sand Mandala is to encourage individuals to have compassion for all beings, a potent message from Tibetans traveling abroad.

After the Mandala was left to sit and be observed by the curious audience, it was swept away; as dictated by Tibetan custom. This process reflects the impermanence of life. The ceremony and tour has been widely accepted by the American audience, and the peaceful nature of the Tibetan monks has been greeted with warmth.  Afterward the ceremony, the monks poured some of the sand - of which some had been blessed by the Dalai Lama - into the local river; Bolin Creek.

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