The arrival of the Tibetan monks from the Drepung Gomang School brought a literal spectrum of colors and ideas. Easily distinguishable with their crimson and yellow robes, the monks’ presence on campus added a brightness to the community that we had not realized was missing. During their week here, tables in Main Hall were decked out with an array of vibrant scarves, beads, and talismans. Some of the monks sat near the crafts, ready to greet the passing students with smiles and quiet hello’s. The monks’ warmth, along with the beautiful colors that accompanied them, brought a new, bright energy into the community.
In addition to the beautiful hues in the halls, the belief that presided in our school maintained a presence throughout the week. All of the talismans and prayer flags that were being sold had clear meanings behind them that were carefully explained on an accompanying slip of paper. At School Meeting the monks chanted, prayed to their deities and showcased their ideas. This pious expression revealed a belief that was, to most students, entirely foreign, and gave us an understanding and awareness of the world outside of our secluded campus.
However, the true hub of the rainbow of ideas and color was not in the halls but in the art gallery. Inside, the art gallery was home to a sand mandala of peace that the monks carefully constructed over the course of their week. A masterpiece, the image was meticulously put together in order to bring peace to our campus. And in a way, it appears to have succeeded. Despite being in the midst of arguably the most difficult stretch of the year, students have continued to stand strong and work hard, maintaining a school-wide bond of cooperation and persistence. When the monks completed their dissolution ceremony and deposited the sand into the pond, they left their mark of peace and understanding at the center of our campus, a spectrum of color and ideas at the heart of the Taft Bubble.