By John J. O’Dell
Sunday I visited the Tibetan Monks who are in Roseville. They are there making a mandala, which if you haven’t seen one, is truly a work of art. Made entirely out of colored sand, the mandala is made one grain of sand at a time!
Mandalas created from sand are unique to Tibetan Buddhism and are believed to effect purification and healing. Typically, a great teacher chooses the specific mandala to be created. The monks assigned to make the mandala construct the mandala completely from memory, including the color of sand for each line!
Over a period of days, the design is filled in with millions of grains of sand. At its completion, the mandala is consecrated. The monks then enact the impermanent nature of existence by sweeping up the colored grains and dispersing them in flowing water.
According to Buddhist scripture, sand mandalas transmit positive energies to the environment and to the people who view them. While constructing a mandala, Buddhist monks chant and meditate to invoke the divine energies of the deities residing within the mandala. The monks then ask for the deities’ healing blessings.
A mandala’s healing power extends to the whole world even before it is swept up and dispersed into flowing water—a further expression of sharing the mandala’s blessings with all.
Tibetan Monks will be in Roseville from February 4th – 13th, 2011 at The Children’s Art Center 190 Park Drive, Roseville, CA. Viewing hours are 10 am to 6 pm.