Saturday, September 08, 2012

Sand Mandala

This past week brought a group of Tibetan monks from Drepung Gomang Monastery to the Spencer Museum of Art at KU.Throughout the week, the monks worked to create a sand mandala, their specific mandala was for world peace, and thus included a variety of symbols of other religions. Using various colors of sand, the work is intricate, detailed, and meticulous, and to watch them carefully construct it is amazing. At the end of the week, when the mandala is complete, the monks perform a dedication ceremony and deconstruct it, putting the sand in to a body of water, usually a river, but in the case of the Spencer mandala, into Potter's Pond. This deconstruction represents the Buddhist concept of impermanence, and the goal of releasing desire or attachments. The mandala was created one floor above my office, and I took all of my classes to see it throughout the week, something which I think the students really enjoyed. Above is a photo from the end of the first day on Tuesday, and below is a photo from near the end of the day on Thursday, the day before completion.

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