Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Sand Mandala

This last week the monks of Drepung Loseling Phukhang Monastery created a Sand Mandala within the Pacific Asia Museum galleries in Pasadena.  They began with an opening ceremony on Wednesday, worked on the mandala through the week, and dismantled it with the Dissolution Ceremony on Sunday afternoon.  I was fortunate to see the working process once again (though missed the ceremonies this time), and in such an intimate setting offered at this museum.  It is truly amazing to see the details being added with the colored sand. The sand is filtered out through a funnel shaped tool called the "Chakpur" that you can see in the photo below.  I love watching the creation process.

According to the informational hand outs "Sand painting is one of the oldest artistic traditions of Tibetan Buddhism.  Mandala is a Sanskrit word meaning 'cosmogram' or 'world in harmony'.  In Vajrayana Buddhism, it is said that whenever a Sand Mandala is created, all beings and the surrounding environment are blessed."  The purpose of this particular mandala construction is to encourage everyone to generate a compassionate heart for the benefit of all.  Very appropriate for this day.

Monk working on the Mandala 9-8-2012  Photo by Cloud Backus
Thank you to the monks for sharing this tradition with us.


  1. I got to watch a sand mandala being constructed in Rochester a few years back and it was very inspirational.

  2. I've twice had the wonderful experience of watching a sand mandala being created and it was very enjoyable and memorable.

  3. Yes, it is memorable. Thanks for visiting!

  4. What a gift to be able to observe this-xo teri


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