Located in South India, the monastery sends a group to America each year in hopes of spreading peace and harmony through cultural exchange, and to help raise funds to aid the continuing education of the 1,500 monks who occupy it.

They first visited Norman in 2008 and Marial Martyn, organizer for this year’s Norman appearance, knew they had to come back as soon as possible.

“It’s such a unique opportunity to be able to spend time with them,” Martyn said. “It’s difficult not to be touched by the love and kindness that they exude.”

Through a series of presentations and lectures, the public can catch a glimpse of the monks’ culture and customs. At 7 p.m. Tuesday in the Meacham Auditorium at the Oklahoma Memorial Union, 1406 Asp, a slide show will feature photos from their daily lives.

Other events will include meditation workshops and the traditional creation of the sand mandala of compassion, which will take place over the course of three days. All will give audiences a greater understanding of Tibetan monastic life, said Martyn.

“Their culture is so rich and truly interesting,” she said. “For them to be willing to make such a long trip to Norman, we should be just as willing to take the time to learn a little something from them.”

For more information, visit —Courtney Silva

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