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Witness the Creation of a Sand Mandala by a Tibetan Monk at Kresge Art Museum
May 1-7, 2006


View photos from Day 1 Day 2 Day 3 Day 4 Day 5 Day 6 Day 7 
Destruction Ceremony
Page 1 Page 2 Page 3
Main Page

Visit daily to watch the sand mandala take shape, learn more about Tibetan art, or simply sit and meditate.

View Construction
May 1, 2, 3
10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

May 4
10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Peace Stemming from a Compassionate Heart
May 4
7:00 to 8:00 p.m.
Room 118, Psychology Building (Old Physics Building)

View Completed Mandala
May 5
10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

May 6
12:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

View Destruction Ceremony
May 7
3:00p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Mandala - Tibetan Mongolian Dharma Tour 2006“Painting” with colored sand is one of the most exquisite art traditions of Tantric Buddhism, and the opportunity to view the creation of a sand mandala is one experience not to be missed. Kresge Art Museum is privileged to have Tibetan and Mongolian monks from the Gyudmed Monastery in Mongolia in residence for one week as they create and ceremonially destroy a sand mandala. The mandala will be created over a period of seven days during which millions of grains of sand are painstakingly laid in place using hollow pipes called Chak-purs, through which the sand is vibrated into the design. When the mandala is finished it will be ritually dismantled during an impressive ceremony to symbolize the impermanence of all that exists. The grains will then be released into the Red Cedar River behind Kresge Art Museum.

HOW IS A SAND MANDALA CREATED?
A sand mandala is created by the monks using colored marble powders in the wide end of a long funnel shaped metal tube. The rubbing of another tool over it makes vibrations through which the control amount of colored sand grains slide from the tube on to the mandala.

WHY IS A SAND MANDALA CREATED?
In order for the artists to meditate with the deity and his heavenly palace.

Visitors viewing the mandalaWHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF CREATING A SAND MANDALA?
It is believed that the Mandala purifies the creator from past negative deeds and that viewers will recover from physical sickness and mental problems. Mandalas are also believed to generate compassion in the viewer’s heart and lay a foundation of constrictive karmic imprints. Also, the nation and the place where the Mandala is created will have timely rainfall, prosperity and peace.

WHY MAKE IT OUT OF SAND?
After a sand mandala is finished all the viewers and monks will collectively pray for peace and harmony in the world. As everybody knows, when there is a sunrise, there is a sunset. In the same way, when we born on this earth, we must also die. To remind us that life is an ever changing cycle the millions of grains of colorful sand are dismantled to demonstrate the truth of impermanence in this world. The sand mandala grains will be dispersed into a river or lake where they will be utilized by the Nags, the water gods, in form of precious resource.

WHAT IS A SAND MANDALA A PICTURE OF?
It is a picture of the palace of a deity viewed from above. The center flower is the seat of the Buddha and the outer walls are his gardens.

The monks of Gyumed Tantric Monastery create three different types of mandala:
1) Avaloketeshvara: the Buddha of generating compassion, love and peace.
2) Amitayus: the Buddha of long life and compassion, love and peace.
3) White Tara: A female Buddha that bestows quick virtuous actions and longevity, generates compassion, love and peace.

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO MAKE A SAND MANDALA?
The sand mandala construction takes at least 5 to 6 days.

Click here for a full schedule of the Tibetan Mongolian Dharma Tour 2006



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