Tibetan Monks White Tara Sand Mandala
If you didn't see the White Tara Sand Mandala painted by the monks of Drepung Loseling Monastery you missed a spectacular event. As part of the program called The Mystical Arts of Tibet, five monks spent a week painting a four-foot sand mandala in the Grand Foyer of the Van Wezel. In all the artistic traditions of Tantric Buddhism, painting with colored sand ranks as one of the most unique and exquisite.
I had the opportunity to spend five easy afternoons with the head of the monastery, Gala Rinpoche, talking about mandalas, meditation, Buddhism, illusion and impermanence. He explained that the monks go through three years of rigorous training to learn this art. It
The monks spent the week meticulously creating the sand mandala from marble "dust" which had been colored using only vegetable and fruit dyes. In more ancient times, the sand was pulverized precious and semi-precious stones with lapis lazuli used for blue, amethyst for purple, rubies for red and emeralds for green. The
Visitors had the opportunity to try their hand at the art of sand painting in a community mandala. It was not as easy as it looked. Several students from Ringling School of Art began the mandala with a floral pattern in the center before others joined in.
The Sand Mandala is a representation of the aspects of illusion and impermanence.
Jo - April 5, 2010