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Saturday, November 4, 2023
11:00 AM–12:00 PM

Memory Connections is a free program for people living with dementia and their caregivers. Every month, trained teaching artists and special performers facilitate an online experience designed to promote engagement between participants and the art and cultures of the Himalayan region.

The day of this special Saturday program marks one of the four “great occasions” connected with the Buddha’s life: Lhabab Düchen. We will be celebrating by taking an in-depth look at related objects in the Museum’s collection. In the Tibetan Buddhist calendar, this festival commemorates the Buddha’s descent from the heavenly realm, where he had gone to impart teachings to his mother, who was reborn there. In the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, practitioners engage in virtuous activities and prayer to gain merit and celebrate the Buddha’s return to Earth.

In addition, we will explore the power of mantra singing through active listening and recitation, inviting participants to experience how sound can positively affect the mind and body. Tibetan mantra singer Drukmo Gyal will discuss the significance of the Lhabab Düchen festival and share a contemplative, soothing call-and-response style mantra meditation with the group. Join in by lending your voice or practicing conscious listening.

About the Speaker

Drukmo Gyal grew up in a multi-ethnic community in Rebgong in the Amdo region of Tibet, where mantra and meditation were an integral part of her daily life from a young age. There she studied traditional Tibetan medicine before working at the Estonian Academy for Traditional Tibetan Medicine (EATTM) in Tallinn. Drukmo’s encounters with European cultures pushed her to introduce healing mantras to the West. She has curated five albums of Tibetan healing mantras and prayers with musicians from around the world. Since 2015, Drukmo has presented more than 100 concerts, lectures, and courses in 30 countries with the support of Buddhist and yoga communities in Europe, America, and East Asia, focusing on the power of mantra and meditation in mental and physical well being.

Major support for Mindful Connections is provided by the Mellon Foundation with additional support from The Frederick P. Lenz Foundation for American Buddhism.

Mellon Foundation
Image credit: Shakyamuni Buddha; 1960; eastern Tibet; ink on paper; Rubin Museum of Art; gift of William Hinman; C2001.4.8 (HAR 87508).