The monks begin the Mandala sand painting with a ceremony of chants, music and mantra recitation for blessing the site to make it conducive for creating the mandala.
Drawing of the Lines
After the opening ceremony, the monks start drawing the line design for the mandala. This is very exacting work based on sacred geometry as presented in the ancient scriptures.
In ancient times in Tibet, sand ground from brightly colored stone was often used for making the Mandalas. Today, white stones are ground and dyed with opaque water colors to produce the bright tones found in the sand paintings. The basic colors are white, black, blue, red, yellow, and green. Each of the basic colors : blue, red, yellow and green have three shades- dark, medium, and light - a total of fourteen colors.
Throughout its creation, the monks pour mlillions of grains of sand from traditional metal funnels called chakpur. The finished MJandala is approximately five feet by five feet in size, and takes three to five days.
The monks conclude their creation of the Sand Mandala with a consecration ceremony to request the continuos blessings of the invoked deities of the Mandala.
|Sand Mandala Completed at the Palace of the Governor in Santa Fe (New Mexico)|
Dismantling the Mandala
During the closing ceremony, the monks dismantle the Mandala, sweeping up the colored sands to symbolize the impermanence of all that exists. The mixed sand is distributed to the audience as blessings for personal health and healing.
The photos on view at this site, were taken at the California Museum of Art (Santa Rosa, CA) 2001, at the Albuquerque Museum (Albuquerque, New Mexico) 2002 and at the Palace of the Governor in Santa Fe ,New Mexico)2002. The demonstrations were part of a fund raising effort to support the continuation of the Gaden Shartse Monastery in Katmandu and the Drepung Loseling Monatery in India.
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