Thursday, August 30 at 2:00 p.m.
The Keydong nuns will recite “Words of Truth,” a prayer composed by His Holiness Tenzin Gyatso, the Fourteenth Dalai Lama of Tibet, in Trinity College’s traditional convocation on the main campus quadrangle, near 300 Summit Street. (Rain location is the Koeppel Community Center, 175 New Britain Avenue.) Free and open to the public.

Sand Mandala Schedule

  • Friday, September 14, 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
  • Saturday, September 15, 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
  • Monday-Friday, September 17 – 21, 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
  • Saturday, September 22, 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
  • Monday-Friday, September 24 – 28, 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
  • Saturday, September 29, 1:00 – 5:00 p.m.
  • Monday-Friday, October 1 – 5, 10:00 – 5:00 p.m.
  • Saturday, October 6, 1:00 – 5:00 p.m.
  • Monday – Friday, October 8 – 12, 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
  • Saturday, October 13, 1:00 – 5:00 p.m.
Observers are asked to take off their shoes.
Austin Arts Center, Garmany Hall, free and open to the public.

Sunday, October 14, at 12:00 p.m.
Mandala dismantling ceremony
Garmany Hall, Austin Arts Center, moving to Charter Oak Landing on the Connecticut River

The public is invited to observe the Keydong nuns dismantle the mandala and offer its sands to the Connecticut River. School buses on Summit Street, adjacent to Mather Hall, will provide free, round-trip transportation. Seating is first-come, first-served.

This event will be streamed live on the web. Click here for the webcast.


Friday, September 14 at 4:30 p.m.
Keynote Lecture: “Tradition Changing Women, Women Changing Tradition: The Interface of Tibetan Nuns and the Sacred Art of Sand Mandala Making” by Melissa R. Kerin, Assistant Professor of Art History, Washington and Lee University, and alumna of the Trinity class of 1994.
While sitting in a tight corner of a small room at the Keydong Thuk-che Choeling nunnery, Melissa Kerin watched several nuns maneuver compasses and refer to Tibetan Buddhist texts as they penciled exquisitely detailed and precise geometric designs of circles and squares on paper: “At that time in March, 1993, I had no understanding of the transformative process I was witnessing; these Tibetan Buddhist nuns—with little more than rudimentary materials of unwieldy compasses, nubs of graphite, and low grade paper—were learning to master the art of sand maṇḍala making, a ritual practice and art form previously only accessible to well-educated, male monastics. These nuns were starting to change that tradition of exclusion, and in turn the august tradition of maṇḍala making changed these nuns’ lives.”
Kerin’s lecture is an account of the nearly 20 years of the Keydong nuns’ maṇḍala-making journey. Her exploration consider the ways in which religious art practices, such as sand maṇḍala making, can be appropriated and used in contemporary times to reshape religious identities, as well as to recreate communal identities, especially for those in diaspora.
Austin Arts Center, Goodwin Theater, free and open to the public.
Thursday, September 27 at 12:15 p.m.
Common Hour: “Life Stories of the Keydong Nuns.” The six Tibetan Buddhist nuns who are in residence at Trinity creating the sand mandala of compassion will take a break from their work to talk about how the Keydong Thuk-che Choeling Nunnery in Kathmandu, Nepal, originated and how each of them found their way there to become a nun.
Mather Hall, 300 Summit Street, free and open to the public. For more information, contact the Calendar and Special Events Office: (860) 297-4133 or send an e-mail to 


Saturday, September 22 at 8:30 p.m.
Concert: “An Evening of Tibetan Music with Dadon”
Dawa Dolma, the singer and composer popularly known as Dadon, is the leading recording artist of popular music in Tibet and is beloved by Tibetans around world. She holds a music degree from Beijing University (1985), studied voice at the Chinese Musical College in Beijing (1988), and represented Tibet at national Chinese music competitions in 1988 and 1990, winning the silver medal at each. Her music fuses traditional Tibetan melodies and vocal techniques with an Asian pop aesthetic. Her lyrics promote Tibetan independence and freedom, celebrate the natural beauty of her homeland, and tell of the exiled Dalai Lama.
In 1992, fearing Chinese government reprisals, she fled her country, walking across the Himalayan mountains to India. Today she lives in Connecticut and performs in the United States. To many Americans, however, Dadon is best known for her starring role in the 1998 film “Windhorse” (see Thursday, September 27).
“Her voice was majestic. Her soprano soared high above the flute and synthesizer melodies of her backing band.” – Neil Strauss, The New York Times
Austin Arts Center, Goodwin Theater, free and open to the public; reservations are recommended. Box Office: 860-297-2199.
Friday, September 28 at 7:30 p.m.
Dance Concert: “Dancing the Present Moment”
Celebrating a convergence of bodily mindfulness, spontaneity of spirit, and open responsiveness to the lived moment, this concert features professional guest artists and student dancers.
Sponsored by the Department of Theater and Dance
Austin Arts Center, Goodwin Theater, free and open to the public; reservations are recommended.
Box Office: 860-297-2199.


Thursday, September 27 at 7:30 p.m.
Film: “Windhorse” (1998)
(unrated; 97 min.), directed by Paul Wagner, written by Julia Elliot and Thupten Tsering, photographed by Steve Schecter and starring Richard Chang and Dadon.
A “windhorse” is a Tibetan prayer flag.
Cinestudio, 300 Summit Street, 860-297-2463 (for showtimes) or
Free and open to the public.
Thursday, October 4 at 7:30 p.m.
Film: “Himalaya” (2000)
(unrated; 104 min.), directed by Eric Valli. Subtitles.
Filmed over seven months in the forbidden Dolpo region of Nepal, “Himalaya” tells of a generational struggle between an old proud chief of a tiny mountain village and his rival, a young, headstrong caravanner. The balance of power shifts uneasily as they make their annual salt trek across the Himalayas. This visually striking film provides glimpses of fast disappearing traditions of Tibetan life as well as the region’s extraordinary landscape.
Cinestudio, 300 Summit Street, 860-297-2463 (for showtimes) or
Free and open to the public.
Thursday, October 11 at 7:30 p.m.
Film: The Cup (1999)
(Rated G; 94 min.), written and directed by Khyentse Norbu. Subtitles.
Obsessed with soccer, spirited adolescent boys in a monastery in Bhutan conspire to watch a World Cup final, but how will they obtain the necessary satellite dish and television?
Cinestudio, 300 Summit Street, 860-297-2463 (for show times) or
Free and open to the public.