Volume 77
Number 2

Making a Splash

Invincible Ink

Where the Heart Is

Commencement 2001

Emory University

Association of Emory Alumni

Current News and Events

Emory Report



Sports Updates












































































While the monks work, Geshe Lobsang Negi, executive director of the Loseling Institute in Atlanta, speaks to the students about the spiritual purification and healing that can take place during this process. After a while, he allows the students to try their hand at it, by turns.

“I hope for them to get the sense that you can create beautiful art by pouring sand, and you can create a beautiful world around you with a similar sense of mindfulness and attention,” he says.

The April visit by monks from the Drepung Loseling Monastery in southern India signified the deepening relationship between Emory and the monastery, a unique affiliation formally established in 1998. The mandala construction in the DUC was part of Emory’s Tibet Awareness Week, featuring programs to raise students’ interest in and understanding of Tibetan culture. After leaving Emory, the monks continued a national tour, giving performances and demonstrations of the Mystical Arts of Tibet—sand painting, dance, and music-making—to raise funds for the monastery

This isn’t the first time Tibetan monks have come to Emory to share their ancient traditions with students here. In 1998, a similar group created a sand mandala at the Michael C. Carlos Museum in honor of a much-heralded visit by the Tibetan spiritual leader, the XIV Dalai Lama, who was the University’s Commencement speaker that year. (Like this mandala, the brilliant sand sculpture remained on view for a brief time before being swept away and poured into a nearby stream, both to symbolize the impermanence of life and to carry healing energies throughout the world. )

But this spring marked the first time Emory students have reciprocated, traveling to India to participate in the life of the Tibetan community there. Even while monks in Atlanta interacted with students on the University campus, a dozen students were in Dharamsala, the heart of the Tibetan government in exile, immersed in Tibetan arts, culture, and language, as well as Buddhist teachings and practice. The students—five from Emory, seven from other universities—participated in the inaugural Tibetan Studies Program, created by Emory’s Center for International Programs Abroad (CIPA) in cooperation with the Institute of Buddhist Dialectics. The program is a further result of the friendship between the institutions of learning.

During the Tibetan Studies Program, students lived in Dharamsala from January to May, a time of rich cultural activity for the Tibetan community. They took formal courses in Tibetan language, culture and civilization, and Buddhism, and also conducted independent field research. The group had ample opportunity to experience the traditions of Tibetan life through excursions led by instructors: They went to an opera festival, visited a medical facility where ancient Tibetan treatments are made and practiced, and celebrated the Tibetan New Year. They also played hotly competitive basketball with the monks.

The Tibetan instructors and students at the Institute went out of their way to make their American guests feel welcome, says Philip Wainwright, director of the CIPA, who visited Dharamsala in April. They created resources especially for the students, and their teaching style was interactive and warm, he said, encouraging lively engagement and ensuring their lessons won’t soon be forgotten.

As the interaction between Emory and the Tibetan intellectual center grows, interim Emory College Dean Robert A. Paul, one of its early and most devoted supporters, hopes to see Tibetan students come to Emory to study in an ongoing and ever-expanding exchange program.

“This is one of Emory’s most ambitious and unique programs,” Paul says. “We are in a position to become a real world center for the study of this tradition. There are few traditions we could better affiliate with, in terms of its richness and depth.” —P.P.P.

Rx: Take two hikes and call me in the morning

Imagine a doctor prescribing an afternoon relaxing in your backyard garden or a week on a Caribbean island instead of a sedative or an antidepressant. Contact with the natural environment offers powerful healing possibilities and could help prevent and treat illnesses, says Howard Frumkin, a professor at the Rollins School of Public Health.

“People report feeling restored and healthier in natural settings, and the available clinical data support this benefit,’’ says Frumkin, chair of the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health. “We may find we can prevent or treat illness by prescribing gardening or pet ownership or vacations in beautiful places.’’

Clinical evidence ranging from post-operative recovery to survival after a heart attack suggests benefits from various forms of nature contact. Applications of this theory, which was published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, could include therapeutic hiking, plants in the workplace, or “healing gardens’’ in hospitals and prisons.



© 2001 Emory University