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In the months prior to His Holiness’ visit, a wide variety of programs were organized both on campus and in Santa Barbara to celebrate Tibetan culture. The University Libraries selected His Holiness’ Ethics for a New Millenium as its choice for the annual UCSB Reads program. Two thousand copies of the book were made available at no cost to students, staff and faculty. Forums on the book were also held throughout Santa Barbara. In addition to the ongoing courses on Tibetan Buddhism and Tibetan language offered in the Religious Studies Department, other classes on Tibetan-Himalayan anthropology and Tibetan medicine were taught in the Department of East Asian Languaes and Cultural Studies. In early spring, the prime minister of the Tibetan government in exile, Ven. Samdhong Rinpoche, gave a lecture on The Future of Tibet. A few weeks later, Pico Iyer and Professor Robert Thurman engaged in a public conversation on “Why the Dalai Lama Matters” at UCSB’s Campbell Hall. Over several weeks, members of the UC Santa Barbara faculty lectured on Tibetan culture and religion in the local community. The University Art Museum organized an extraordinary exhibition, Toward Enlightenment: The Sacred Art of Tibet, showcasing exquisite tangka paintings on loan from the Rubin Museum of Art in New York. In the the weeks prior to His Holiness’ visit, a renowned monk-artist from Gyumey Tantric College taught a month-long workshop on Tibetan painting for undergraduates; and in the days before His Holiness’ arrival, monks from Drepung Loseling Monastery created a beautiful Avalokiteshvara sand-mandala in honor of the Dalai Lama. In the words of Dean David Marhsall, “this remarkable program of events, culminating in the Dalai Lama’s lectures, were, for our students and the wider community, an example of our public university at its very best.”

Book Cover

UCSB Reads


The UCSB Libraries and the Office of the Executive Vice Chancellor have announced the selection of the Dalai Lama’s Ethics for the New Millenium (Penguin, 1999) as the 2008 choice for the UCSB Reads program. Thousands of students, faculty and staff will be reading the Dalai Lama’s book in the winter and spring quarters of 2009. The book will be the topic of class discussions and campus-wide forums, and will be the focus of various events in the broader Santa Barbara community. Learn more about the UCSB Reads program and about the Dalai Lama’s book by clicking here.

  Art Related Programming | Lectures | Film | UCSB Tibetan Studies Courses | UCSB Reads

Art Related Programming

Creating Buddhas illustration
Creating Buddhas: The Making and Meaning of Fabric Thangkas
Santa Barbara premier of an important documentary film
Wednesday, January 28, 2009, 5:00 p.m.
Life Science Building 1001 (LSB 1001), UCSB Campus

Creating Buddhas is Isadora Gabrielle Leidenfrost’s film about Leslie Rinchen Wangmo, an American woman who spent nine years in India studying the art of making fabric thangkas. The artist is expected to be present for this event.

Tibetian Sand Mandala
The Universe of a Deity: A Tibetan Sand Mandala
April 19-24, 2009
University Art Museum, UCSB Campus

A mandala is a representation of the palace and universe of an enlightened being. Mandalas can be painted on cloth, made from colored sands, or constructed as three-dimensional objects. During their visit to UCSB, the monks from the Drepung Loseling Monastery will create a mandala made from colored sand particles. Visitors are invited to watch the monks work. Please check back for the the monks work schedule, and for the dates and times of the opening and closing ceremonies.

Yeshi and Class
Tibetan Painting: A Workshop for Undergraduates
April, 2009

In the spring quarter of 2008, Ven. Yeshi Dorje, a renowned Tibetan monk-artist from the Lower Tantric College (Hunsur, India), offered a very successful workshop on Tibetan painting for undergraduates on campus. This year, UCSB welcomes the artist back for a second course. The workshop does not require any prior experience with Tibetan painting. This program, limited to UCSB undergraduates, is made possible through a grant from the Shelley and Donald Rubin Foundation. Please visit the website for the 2008 course by clicking here. Undergraduates interested in signing up for the 2009 course should contact This workshop is not offered for credit.

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