2002 Syracuse Symposium to feature Tibetan Mandala painting and celebrated physicist Brian Greene
2002 Syracuse Symposium to feature Tibetan Mandala painting and celebrated physicist Brian GreeneMarch 07, 2002Judy Holmesjlholmes@syr.edu
The 2002 Syracuse Symposium, “Exploring Beauty,” continues through March with such featured events as Tibetan mandala painting by members of the Namgyal Monastery in Ithaca, and keynote addresses by renowned physicist Brian Greene of Columbia University and Gus Newport, former mayor of Berkeley, Calif., and former executive director of the Dudly Street Neighborhood Initiative in Boston. All of the events are free and open to the public.
The Syracuse Symposium is an annual University-wide intellectual and creative festival hosted by Syracuse University’s College of Arts and Sciences in collaboration with schools and colleges from across the University. The opportunities provided by the symposium are consistent with initiatives in the University’s Academic Plan directed at expanding opportunities for multidisciplinary intellectual discourse for students.
The upcoming events are:
? Mandala sand painting by the Venerable Tenzin Deshek and the Venerable Tenzin Thutop of the Namgyal Monastery, Institute of Buddhist Studies, Ithaca, from March 21 to 27 in the lobby of the Heroy Geology building. The sand painting will be open to public viewing as it is being created. Hours are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays; 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. March 23 and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. March 24. The sand painting will be preceded by a lecture by the Rev. Roko Sherry Chayat of the Zen Center of Syracuse, who will present “Mandalas: Metaphor of the Sacred” at 4 p.m. March 20 in Room 205 of the Hall of Languages;
? A keynote address by Brian Greene, author of “The Elegant Universe” (Norton Books, 1999), at 7:30 p.m. March 21 in the College of Law’s Grant Auditorium. The lecture is co-sponsored by the Frontiers of Science Lecture Series in The College of Arts and Sciences;
? A keynote address by Gus Newport, “Beauty and Community Building,” at 7:30 p.m. March 25 in the Hall of Languages, Room 207; and
? A presentation by Vijaya Nagarajan, assistant professor of theology and religious studies at the University of San Francisco, titled “South Indian Kolam: Women’s Threshold Designs” at 4 p.m. March 26 in the Kilian Room, Room 500 of the Hall of Languages.
The Namgyal Monastery was founded in 1992 by a group of monks who traveled from Dharamsala, India, to Ithaca. The Namgyal monks are well known for their creation of mandala exhibitions in museums and galleries throughout the world, as well as for other forms of sacred Tibetan arts lectures and religious activities.
In Tibet, Mandala sand painting is called “dul-tson-kyil-khor,” which means “mandala of colored powders.” Millions of grains of sand are painstakingly laid into place on a flat platform over a period of days or weeks. Formed of a traditional prescribed iconography that includes geometric shapes and a multitude of ancient spiritual symbols, the sand-painted mandala is used as a tool for re-consecrating the earth and its inhabitants.
Greene’s primary area of research is superstring theory, a theory that purports to present the first sensible theory of quantum gravity as well as a unified theory of all forces and all matter. He is renowned for his ability to bring the complicated theory to a mass audience through his book, “The Elegant Universe,” which was number one on the Internet-based Amazon sales list. He has lectured at both technical and popular levels in more than 20 countries. In 1997, he lectured at the Symposium on Strings and Black Holes along with internationally renowned physicists Stephen Hawking and Edward Wilson. In 1999, Greene appeared at the Guggenheim Museum.
Greene’s work has been featured on “Nightline in Prime Time,” “Charlie Rose” and in The New York Times. NOVA is producing a three-hour miniseries on “The Elegant Universe” that is scheduled to be aired next year.
Newport is a senior associate at the Urban Strategies Council in Oakland, Calif., and a senior consultant to the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Technical Assistance Resource Center. He has worked for governments and nonprofit agencies and in the private sector in the areas of neighborhood planning and development, economic development and youth employment and training. He is credited with playing a pivotal role in the transformation of Boston’s Roxbury neighborhood from an urban wasteland into a thriving community-based neighborhood.