ESCONDIDO, Calif.—Theatergoers filled the halls of the California Center, for the Arts for the last San Diego engagement of Shen Yun Performing Arts New York Company, on Thursday evening.
New York-based Shen Yun with three active companies, traverses the globe restoring and sharing China’s authentic majestic artful and spiritual culture through dance, music and a collection of stories from past to present.
Professor Karma Lekshe, a Buddhist nun and accomplished author and professor at University of San Diego was in attendance May 5.
Born in the U. S., Ms. Lekshe left for India in her twenties where she studied in an Indian monastery before returning here 20 years ago. Now she holds a PhD in comparative philosophy, is author of several books, founder of a Himalayan non-profit, and president of International Association of Buddhist Women.
Ms. Lekshe described her feelings when the curtain first went up, “It was very splendid. It was very lovely. Nice colors—Like in heaven,” she added.
She continued offering her impressions of Shen Yun. “The show was wonderful; very beautiful. All the costumes were so lovely, the dancers had such good energy, and the message that they put across was very pure-hearted—wonderful.”
Commenting on the spiritual nature of Shen Yun, Ms. Lekshe said, “There were a lot of Buddhist ideas presented [and] many presentations of monks, including one bad monk”.
As a Buddhist, she said, “We believe in rebirth, that we don't just live one time; we live many times. And each time we learn. Hopefully we learn more and more. We improve our minds, and eventually we can achieve liberation,”
Included in the presentation were two dances depicting the struggle for freedom of belief, presently challenging so many in China today. “It shows that we should have freedom. [Spiritual] freedom is very important. For those who wish to practice their [spirituality], they should have the freedom to do that.”
Ms. Lekshe took away a message from the show’s content. “I got the message that each human being has certain life energy, and we can use our life energy in a very meaningful way for the good of the people, the good of society, and create a good future for ourselves. Of course, for the whole society … the whole society,” she added.
Ms. Lekshe, who came on an invitation highly recommended from people at her school, said that she would certainly recommend this show to others.
She explained that Shen Yun inspired her teaching. "It's wonderful to see what young people can do. If young people are dedicated, if they train in discipline and follow their heart, and work for the good of the people, they can do great things.”
Reporting by Jan Li and Masha Savitz.
Shen Yun Performing Arts New York Company and International Company respectively, will perform at Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Orange County, and at New Jersey State Theater, New Brunswick from May 6-8. For more information, visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org