April 21, 2023 6:00pm

Mandala: In Search of Enlightenment | Peter Van Ham in conversation with Matthew R. DeSantis

Peter Van Ham | Matthew R DeSantis



Friday, April 21
6:00 pm EST
In-Person at Tibet House | Free

Tibet House and Rizzoli Bookstore invite you to celebrate the launch of Mandala: In Search of Enlightenment by Peter van Ham, in conversation with Matthew R. DeSantis. This event will be held at Tibet House, followed by a signing with book sales by Rizzoli Bookstore.

In its original form, the mandala, whose roots lie in the cultural realm of India, denotes a sacred circle. In addition to its use as an aid to meditation, it is also the artistic translation of spiritual visions. Yet mandalas are found not just across Tibet and other Asian countries, as the new book by Peter van Ham illustrates. The principles underlying them can also be found in representations of the spiritual arts across the globe.

Bestselling author Peter van Ham will be joined by Matthew R. DeSantis for an evening of in-depth exploration around the world into the inner realms of the human psyche.

“The expertly clean presentation of the many artistic parallels between the different spiritual traditions shown here is captivating! Their amazing commonalities are conveyed in an exciting, inspiring way, greatly serving efforts of international understanding, while numerous concepts are concisely and vividly explained—unprecedented in literature!” —Dr. Vivian Wagner, Sinologist, former lecturer at the universities of Munich and Heidelberg



As a researcher, author, photographer, and exhibition curator, Peter has traveled the world for forty years, focusing on Asia, India, the Himalayas, and the Tibetan Cultural Region. With fifteen international book publications, ten international exhibitions, and five TV documentaries, his research has been monumental in bringing fieldwork in formerly inaccessible areas to the forefront. An avid explorer, supported by His Holiness the Dalai Lama, the Archaeological Survey of India and UNESCO, he has been inducted into the Royal Asiatic Society and the Royal Geographical Society, London, and the Explorers Club of New York. For twenty years he has been the Chairman of the Society for the Preservation and Promotion of the Cultural Heritage of Asia (SPAH e.V.), for which he continues to realize numerous international nonprofit projects.  
Matt is one of Bhutan’s longest-residing non-natives whose personal relationship with the Himalayan country dates back to his childhood. He is the founder of MyBhutan, Bhutan’s boutique luxury travel designer and outfitter, and Beyul Labs, a technology that provides digital products including Bhutan’s first online payments platform. Various nonprofit projects focusing on Bhutan’s arts, spirituality, education, ecology, and sports are founded, funded and developed by him, including a momentous initiative for the Central Monastic Body to document, digitize and archive Bhutan’s national relics and artwork. Unrelated to his work, Matt serves as the U.S. State Department Warden of Bhutan. In 2019, he and his expedition team received The Explorers Club Citation of Merit in recognition of their paleontology discoveries in Mongolia’s Gobi Desert.

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