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On Sept. 11, at Mabel Tainter in Menomonie at 7:30 p.m., traditional Tibetan songs will be performed by Ngawang Tenzin, preceding the screening of the film "Creating Buddhas" and followed by a short talk by Lama Kalsang Gyaltsen of Washington, D.C.
"Creating Buddhas: The Making and Meaning of Fabric Thangkas" is the story of a western woman who became a fabric thangka maker. Now, she is bringing the gift of fabric thangka to this culture.
Fabric thangka is a silk embroidered and appliquéd art form in Tibetan Buddhism and is also known as Applique Thangka, Brocade Thangka, and Silk Thangka. Fabric thangka is so rare that in some places it is only seen once a year, and then for only for a few hours.
Trained in Dharamsala, India, for nine years, Leslie Rinchen-Wongmo is one of the few female makers in world and one of the only fabric thangka makers in the west. This film also explores Leslie's life-changing journey of discovering fabric thangka, her apprenticeship in Dharmasala, India, the step-by-step by process of producing a fabric thangka, and the history and spiritual importance in Tibetan Buddhism. Through this film, see her produce a thangka of the female Buddha Tara.
In a sense, Leslie is like Tara. She became a master of a male tradition and the public will see fabric thangka through feminine eyes. "Creating Buddhas" is a one-hour not-for-profit film produced by Soulmedia.com. The producer/director of the film, Isadora Leidenfrost, will present the film and be available to answer any questions afterward.
Following the film there will be a short talk by Lama Khenpo Kalsang Gyaltsen. He is vice president of Tsechen Kunchab Ling, Temple of All-Encompassing Great Compassion, which is the U.S. headquarters of the Sakya Order of Tibetan Buddhism in the United States. He is also Spiritual Director of Sakya Phuntsok Ling Center for Tibetan Buddhist Studies and Meditation in Silver Spring, Md. Khenpo Kalsang is a widely recognized and accomplished teacher and translator of Tibetan Buddhism. Born in Tibet, he is learned in sutra and tantra and has spent long periods in meditative retreat. For the past three decades, he has taught the Dharma widely in the United States and Southeast Asia.
This event is a benefit for the Tibetan Earthquake Relief Fund.
On April 14 2010, in a remote Tibetan corner of western China a deadly 7.1 magnitude earthquake killed 2,698 people and injured more than 10,000. The Yushu Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture was hardest hit. Chinese officials say 15,000 houses have collapsed and 100,000 people need to be relocated after the quake, which toppled ancient Buddhist monasteries, cracked a dam, and triggered landslides.
Due to so many natural disasters in the spring of 2010 the Yushu earthquake went largely unnoticed by the rest of the world. Although emergency funds were allocated, there is a great need for ongoing support for the thousands left behind.
Tsechen Kunchab Ling, the main center for the Sakya Lineage in the United States, is handling the collection of donations to send to Tibet directly through His Holiness Sakya Trinzin. All donations are 100 percent tax-deductible.