Indiana State University Newsroom

Tibetan monks to host presentation Sept. 16

September 11, 2018

A group of Tibetan monks from India will host a public presentation of Buddhist practices Sept. 16 at the First Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Terre Haute.

"This will be an authentic experience featuring different aspects of the Tibetan culture and Buddhism," said Jean Kristeller, Indiana State professor emeritus of psychology who helped facilitate the event.

Indiana State University and the Center for Global Engagement are co-sponsoring the presentation by seven Tibetan monks from Tashi Kyil, a refugee monastery in Dehra Dun, India. The monks are on a six-month stay in the U.S., where they are spreading a message of wisdom and compassion and raising donations to support their monastery. They are based at the Tibetan-Mongolian Buddhist Cultural Center in Bloomington while in the U.S.

"The tour is important for Americans as the monks present a message of wisdom and compassion and also inform the public about the culture of Tibet, a country currently occupied by the Chinese Communists," said Mary Pattison, a board member for the Kumbum Chatse Ling Monastery, which is housed on the cultural center's grounds and is dedicated to promotion of world peace and harmony.

The monks will first participate as part of the regular church service from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m., offering an opportunity to understand the spiritual experiences of a different culture.

Following a potluck meal at noon, a special presentation is set for 1:30-3 p.m. when the monks will share a PowerPoint presentation on the special spirit of Tibetan Buddhist practices and traditional Tibetan meditation.
They also will perform a skeleton dance related to the Chod ceremony, a traditional ceremony with chanting to illustrate Tibetan Buddhist practices.

All events are open to the public, and the monks will be available for questions during lunch and following their presentation. The First Unitarian Universalist Congregation is located at 1875 S. Fruitridge Ave., between Poplar St. and Hulman St.

Tashi Kyil has 120 monks, 50 of whom are children from Tibetan villages in the Himalayan regions and are sent to the monastery by their parents to receive health services and a Buddhist education. While on tour in the U.S., the monks teach Tibetan Buddhist meditation, offer prayer blessings to overcome negativities and perform rituals of chanting and dance related to meditation practice.

To learn more about the monks, go to


Contact: Jean Kristeller, professor emeritus of psychology, Indiana State University,

Writer: Betsy Simon, media relations assistant director, University Marketing, Indiana State University, 812-237-7972 or