THE Tibetan Monks in Exile will be visiting the Quay Arts Centre in Newport on November 16 — the final stop of their UK tour.
The monks will be performing ancient Buddhist chants and ritual masked dances, as well as demonstrating the art of Sand Mandalas — creating intricate Buddhist symbols from thousands of grains of coloured sands.
Over the past 20 years, the monks have appeared at Glastonbury Festival, Edinburgh Fringe and The Royal Opera House, provided the soundtrack to the adventures of Marco Polo on Netflix and guest-starred on BBC Radio Four’s The Archers.
While their sound is banned by Apple Music in China, Tashi Lhunpo Monastery embraces life in the 21st century, and the monks are streaming a new album of guided meditations, creating ringtones for smartphones from human thighbone trumpets, and studying science alongside scripture.
Founded by the first Dalai Lama in 1447 in Shigatse, Central Tibet, the monastery was renowned for its scholarship in Mahayana philosophy and the Tantric tradition of Tibetan Buddhism.
The Chinese occupation of Tibet in 1959 and the subsequent Cultural Revolution resulted in the destruction of many of the monastery’s precious scriptures, statues and paintings.
During the 1960s, 20 elderly Buddhist monks from Tashi Lhunpo fled religious persecution and followed the 14th Dalai Lama into exile by trekking across the Himalayas. In 1972 the Monastery was re-established in South India.