Published On: Sun, Dec 2nd, 2012

Visiting Monks Create Sand Mandala At Eugene Library

Story last updated on December 15th, 2012 at 9:49 pm.

Buddhist monks from South India are at Eugene Public Library’s downtown branch this weekend to create a traditional Tibetan Buddhist Sand Mandala at the Downtown Eugene Public Library.

Buddhist monks create a Tibetan sand mandala at the Eugene Public Library

Buddhist monks create a Tibetan sand
mandala at the Eugene Public Library
Photo: Kevin Prociw

The Monks of Drepung Loseling Phukhang Monastery are forming painstaking geometric designs with fine, natural ink-dyed sand in an ancient tradition of sand mandala creation.

An opening ceremony was held on Friday, November 30th, with a closing ceremony slated for Sunday, December 2, from 4:00 to 5:00 p.m. at the library. The public is also invited to watch the process at any time the downtown library is open from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

The ancient art of creating sand mandalas is meant to inspire compassion and bring progress towards world peace. The art theme is the symbolization of the transitory state of material life.

According to the monks, “it is said that wherever a sand mandala is created, all sentient beings and the surrounding environment are blessed, and that whoever views the mandala experiences profound peace and great joy. The colorfulness and harmony of the millions of sand particles in the mandala gives a powerful message that we all can live in peace if each of us work in creating a little more space for others in our hearts.”

During the closing ceremony, the monks will dismantle the mandala, as is required by tradition, sweeping up the colored sand “to symbolize the impermanence of all phenomena, teaching that everything that exists has a beginning, a middle and an end,” according to the monks.

Traditionally, the dismantling of the artwork is done by sweeping the grains of sand into a silk cloth, tying the bundle closed and transporting it to moving water such as a river. The natural elements are then placed in the water to return to nature, symbolizing the impermanence of life.

This tour began Sept. 11 in Los Angeles, and will wrap up in Portland on Dec. 16. Except for a late October detour to New York, the tour has only run the length of the West coast.

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