Saturday, April 15, 2006

Tibetan Debate

The Mystical Arts of Tibet, from the Drepung Loseling Monastery in South India (relocated in 1959), is a group of Tibetan Monks that travel the US, constructing elaborate sand mandalas, only to sweep them up, all in the name of World Peace. I was fortunate to see this group in 2000 in Washington DC, and again this week in Minnesota. While I find the mandala captivating and an amazing display of discipline, the monks also performed some traditional music and dance along with prayer music.

One part of their performance included a bit of Tibetan debate. While this is true debate, Tibetans have elevated it to a art form. Much more than the type of performance that we'd expect from laywers in an American court, the debate practice in Tibet includes a physical element. I have a short clip that I recorded on my cell phone from that performance (about 13 seconds long). This clip should be playable in either Quicktime or Real Player.

CLICK for video

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