Eight Tibetan monks, visiting from their exiled monastery in South India, will be performing their unique masked dances in their UK tour in 2019.
Described as both ‘majestic and atmospheric’, The Power of Compassion performance by the monks features masked dances, traditional Tibetan musical instruments, the sound of sacred mantras, and elaborate, colourful costumes. Mudras – symbolic or ritual gestures - are used to revitalise spiritual energies which generate wisdom, compassion and the healing powers of enlightened beings. Every mask, costume, colour, sound and gesture has spiritual significance. Only since the diaspora of the Tibetan people have outsiders and lay people been able to witness these secret arts. The performance is accompanied by explanations of the significance and meaning behind the dances and prayers, and provides a fascinating glimpse into an ancient cultural tradition far removed from modern Western society.
The monks have been touring from their monastery for over a decade sharing their culture with audiences at festivals and theatres throughout the UK and Europe. They have been frequent visitors to the Edinburgh Fringe, and also appeared at Glastonbury Festival, the Eisteddfod in Llandudno, on London’s South Bank and at have toured extensively through the National Rural Touring Network to many other venues, large and small. They have brought out seven CDs, including ‘17 Golden Greats’ which was produced to mark HH the Dalai Lama’s 80th birthday in July 2015. In 2019 the monks mark the 30th birthday of their spiritual leader, HH the 11th Panchen Lama, whose whereabouts and that of his family are currently unknown, along with the 60th anniversary of His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s escape into exile in India. A new CD of guided meditations and monastic prayers, ‘Calm Abiding’, is issued this summer. While demonstrating the ancient arts of Tibet, Tashi Lhunpo also reaches out to the 21st Century: with an active blog, and a presence on Facebook and Twitter, and in particular by bringing out a specially recorded series of telephone ringtones using the traditional monastic orchestra – ‘bringing Enlightenment to your smartphone’.
Tashi Lhunpo Monastery UK Trust, a registered charity in the UK, was founded in 2003 to support the work of Tashi Lhunpo Monastery and to ensure that it is able to flourish in the difficult environment in exile in South India. The Patron of the Trust is His Holiness the Dalai Lama, who said, “I have a strong personal connection with Tashi Lhunpo Monastery, and as its Patron I support the efforts being made to preserve its unique culture in exile. Many of our monasteries are now thriving in India. However, without the leadership of HH the Panchen Lama, Tashi Lhunpo Monastery faces exceptional difficulties, and needs special support. I welcome any help which can be offered to the monastery to enable them to continue their Buddhist studies for the benefit of all, and I wish them every success.”