Mystical Arts of Tibet

Wednesday, August 10 – Sunday, August 14, 10:00 am – 5:00 pm

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Tibetan Buddhist Monks will Construct a Mandala Sand Painting and Perform Special Ceremonies in Santa Fe, Aug. 10 – 14, 2016

Tibetan Buddhist monks from Drepung Loseling Monastery will construct a Mandala Sand Painting Wednesday, August 10 to Sunday, August 14 at the Museum of International Folk Art during the museum’s open hours (10:00am – 5:00pm).

From all the artistic traditions of Tantric Buddhism, that of painting with colored sand ranks as one of the most unique and exquisite. Millions of grains of sand are painstakingly laid into place on a flat platform over a period of days or weeks to form the image of a mandala. To date the monks have created mandala sand paintings in more than 100 museums, art centers, and colleges and universities in the United States and Europe.

Mandala is a Sanskrit word meaning sacred cosmogram. These cosmograms can be created in various media, such as watercolor on canvas, wood carvings, and so forth. However, the most spectacular and enduringly popular are those made from colored sand.

In general all mandalas have outer, inner and secret meanings. On the outer level they represent the world in its divine form; on the inner level they represent a map by which the ordinary human mind is transformed into enlightened mind; and on the secret level they depict the primordially perfect balance of the subtle energies of the body and the clear light dimension of the mind. The creation of a sand painting is said to effect purification and healing on these three levels.

The mandala sand painting begins with an opening ceremony, during which the lamas consecrate the site and call forth the forces of goodness. This is done by means of chanting, music and mantra recitation, and will be held on Wednesday, August 8 at 12:00noon.