Mystical Arts of Tibet
Exiled monks bring enlightenment to Spartanburg

Monday, September 30 - Friday, October 4

WHAT? Exiled Tibetan monks visit Spartanburg for a transformative experience, creating a unique mandala sand painting right before your eyes as part of the Mystical Arts of Tibet. And don't worry, local experts will give lectures to aid the public's understanding of the event's significance (schedule below).

WHO? The monks of Drepung Loseling Monastery in Atlanta will create the mandala. All ages are invited to the event. The program has been orchestrated by Chapman Cultural Center, Converse College, and Wofford College.

HOW? Sand mandalas are constructed in a pain-staking method of Tantric Buddhist tradition, utilizing a metal funnel called a chakpur to make large circular designs. 

WHY? Keeping in the Tantric Buddhist tradition, the process of creating a dul-tson-kyil-khor (mandala of colored powders) is used as a tool of re-consecrating the earth and its inhabitants. The experience is highly artistic and spiritual for both the monks and spectators. 

WHERE? All events will take place in the Chapman Theatre, with the sand mandala creation taking place in the Jennifer Evins lobby.

WHEN? Creation of the mandala will be open to the public Noon-7 p.m. Monday, Sept. 30, 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 1 & Wednesday, Oct. 2, and 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 3. The deconstruction will be Noon-2 p.m. Friday, Oct. 4. Also... the enchanting Sacred Music Sacred Dance performance will take place at 7 p.m. on Thursday night.

COST? The opening ceremony, daily mandala creation, and deconstruction ceremony are all FREE for public viewing. In fact, if you attend the deconstruction, you'll even receive some of the sand! The Sacred Music Sacred Dance performance on Thursday costs $10/student and $20/adult.

For more information on the event, call Chapman Cultural Center at (864) 542-ARTS. Visit the Mystical Arts of Tibet webpage at or Drepung Loseling Monastery in Atlanta at for more information on tours, the monastery, or Tibetan Buddhism.

Click here to purchase tickets or call (864) 542-ARTS to reach the Ticket Office.

Lecture Schedule:
  • MONDAY, September 30 -- 6:30-7:30 p.m. -- Dr. David S. Efurd, Assistant Professor of Art History at Wofford College gives "A Cosmos Visualized: The Mt. Meru System in Buddhist Art and Practice"
  • TUESDAY, October 1 -- Noon-1 p.m. -- Ruth Beals, Owings Associate Professor of Interior Design and Coordinator of Interior Design at Converse College gives "China's Comfortable Housing: Culturally Uncomfortable for Tibetans"
  • TUESDAY, October 1 -- 6:30-7:30 p.m. -- Dr. Jeremy E. Henkel, Assistant Professor of Religion at Wofford College gives "On Having No Self: The Case for Compassion in Buddhism"
  • WEDNESDAY, October 2 -- Noon-1 p.m. -- Dr. Sherry Fohr, Associate Professor of Religion and Co-Director of Women's Studies at Converse College gives "Introduction to Buddhism"
  • WEDNESDAY, October 2 -- 2-3 p.m. -- Dr. Trina Janiec Jones, Associate Professor of Religion at Wofford College gives "Imagining Tibet"
  • WEDNESDAY, October 2 -- 6:30-7:30 p.m. -- Geshe Tsering Dhondup of Drepung Loseling Monastery gives "Symbolism of the Sand Mandala" (translated by Lobsang Norbu)

Event Schedule:
  • MONDAY, September 30 -- Noon -- Opening ceremony by Buddhist monks, free to public
  • MONDAY-THURSDAY -- 10 a.m.-7 p.m. -- Daily creation of the sand mandala, free to public
  • THURSDAY, October 3 -- Performance of sacred dance and music by Buddhist monks, $20/adult and $10/student
  • FRIDAY, October 4 -- 10 a.m.-Noon -- Public viewing of sand mandala, free to public
  • FRIDAY, October 4 -- Noon-2 p.m. -- Deconstruction ceremony by Buddhist monks, free to public

View the Mystical Arts of Tibet webpage at Converse College and Wofford College as well.

Photographs of the Mystical Arts of Tibet program

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