mandala

September 20, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

I’ve heard of but never seen the amazing sand mandalas created by Tibetan Buddhist monks, so I jumped at the chance when two monks came to Portland to create one in a two-day ceremony.

They started from nothing, picking up colored sand from bowls and dropping it on the table, carefully and very slowly, creating astonishingly intricate details.

The lead monk explained that creating these sand mandalas is not art, but is essentially a prayer service in their form of Buddhism, and that the overall structure and all the tiny details have specific spiritual meanings which they meditate on as they work. Once the whole mandala was completed he gave everyone a few minutes to examine it up close while he answered questions, and then they wiped it all away collecting the sand back into baggies.

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