Tibetan Monks Visit Yardley, Create Sand Mandala

June 13, 2017 8:14 pm0 commentsViews: 229
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Tibetan Buddhist monks from Drepung Gomang Monastery, in southern India, constructed a mandala sand painting at Khalsa Healing Arts and Yoga Center in Yardley during the month of May. The public was invited to observe the monks while they patiently created the mandala, which is a symbolic representation of the universe, by carefully placing millions of grains of colored sand on a wooden platform over a period of days.

     The monks began the project by drawing an outline of the mandala on the platform. On the following days, they laid the colored sands. Each monk holds a traditional metal funnel called a chak-pur while running a metal rod along its surface. The vibration causes the sands to flow like liquid onto the platform.

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The monks are on a United States tour whose stated mission is “to make a contribution to world healing and peace by sharing unique Tibetan Buddhist teachings, sacred religious performances, chanting, and Tibet’s cultural treasures and authentic traditions.” They travel from week to week to different places and cities. To date the monks have created mandala sand paintings in more than 100 museums, art centers, colleges and universities in the United States and Europe.

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Traditionally, most sand mandalas are destroyed shortly after their completion, symbolizing the impermanence of life. On the morning of Sunday May 21st, after a final public viewing, the mandala was carefully dismantled and the colored sand was carried in an urn to the banks of the Delaware River, where it was released into the waters. ■

 

Photos, from top: the completed sand mandala; the monks performing sacred music; along the banks of the Delaware; and releasing the colored sand into the water.

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