Lama Tenzin Returns with Message of Compassion

IMG_0570 Venerable Tenzin Yignyen, a Buddhist monk and visiting professor at Hobart and William Smith Colleges, returned to Ross School this week to share his message of compassion with students from both campuses.

Lama Tenzin spent four days at Ross Lower School, creating an intricate sand mandala, diagrams representing the full expression of Buddha’s enlightened mind. During each of his week-long visits, Lama Tenzin crafts a mandala and this one—the inner Mandala of the Buddha of Compassion—is thought to purify environments and encourage peaceful interactions.

“Lead a meaningful life by filling your head with knowledge and your heart with compassion,” Lama Tenzin said, advising his audience at the Lower School assembly. “The world has many smart people, but we really need more kind and compassionate people, supported by courage and wisdom.”


Sixth grade student Chloe H. coaxed a smiled from Lama Tenzin when she informed him of that his 2016 visit inspired a successful student-led effort to have compassion adopted as Ross School’s eighth Core Value. “You’ve made my day,” Lama Tenzin said, reminding students that compassion for others is the most valuable object a human can possess. “Compassion is the ultimate strength,” he said.

Lama Tenzin’s sand mandala was dismantled at the end of the week, and its components will be returned to the sea by members of the sixth grade class.