Tibetan Buddhist monks from Drepung Loseling Monastery will construct a Mandala Sand Painting July 29th – August 5th at Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Atlanta (1597 Interstate -85 Frontage Road, Atlanta, GA 30329).
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 fl at 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.
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 Sunday, July 29th at 2:00 pm.
The lamas begin the exhibit by drawing an outline of the mandala on the wooden platform. On the following days they lay the colored sands. Each monk holds a traditional metal funnel called a chakpur while running a metal rod on its grated surface. The vibration causes the sands to fl ow like liquid pur while running a metal rod on its grated surface. The vibration causes the sands to fl ow like liquid pur onto the platform.
Traditionally most sand mandalas are destroyed shortly after their completion. This is done as a metaphor for the impermanence of life. The sands are swept up and placed in an urn; to fulfill the function of healing, half is distributed to the audience at the closing ceremony, while the remainder is carried to a nearby body of water, where it is deposited. The waters then carry the healing blessing to the ocean, and from there it spreads throughout the world for planetary healing. The closing ceremony will be held on Sunday, August 5th from 11:30 am – 1:00 pm.