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Pre-July 2009 Press Archives

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4/12/2002 Tibetan Monks to perform prayer/chanting ceremony

McMINNVILLE – Eleven monks from the Drepung Loseling Monastery in India will conduct a traditional prayer and chanting ceremony Monday, April 22, at 7 p.m. in Melrose Auditorium at Linfield College.

The program will include both music, performed on the ancient instruments of Tibet, and chanting. Tibetan temple music is particularly renowned for multiphonic singing. Each of the chant masters simultaneously intones three notes, each individually creating a complete chord.

In addition to the evening program, a monk and his translator will give a short presentation about Tibetan Buddhism and answer questions from 2 to 4 p.m. in Jonasson Hall.

The Drepung Loseling Monastery was established in 1416 in Tibet and dedicated to intense study of the traditional Buddhist arts and sciences. It was one of Tibet's largest monastic universities, housing at its peak, 10,000 monk students from Tibet, China, India, Mongolia and Eastern Russia.

The Chinese Communist takeover of Tibet in 1959 resulted in the destruction of all but a dozen of Tibet's 6,500 monasteries. Drepung was closed and most of the monks killed or imprisoned. About 250 monks escaped into India, where they eventually built a replica Drepung Loseling in Exile monastery near Bombay. Here they work to preserve their ancient traditions and their population has grown to 2,500 in India.

In 1991 the monks were invited to establish a seat in North America and the Drepung Loseling Institute was founded in Atlanta, Ga. It is dedicated to the study and preservation of the Tibetan Buddhist tradition. In 1998 Drepung Loseling established an affiliation with Emory University.

The evening program is free and open to the public, with a suggested $5 donation to support the monastery. The program is sponsored by the Chaplain's Office, Multicultural Programs, the Division of Continuing Education, Associated Students of Linfield College, the President's Discretionary Fund and Linn-Benton Community College. For more information, call 503-883-2449.