Tibetan Buddhist Monks will Construct a Mandala Sand Painting at FAU
Florida Atlantic University’s Peace Studies program in the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters will host Tibetan Buddhist monks from Drepung Loseling Monastery in Atlanta to construct a Mandala Sand Painting in the Schmidt Gallery on FAU’s Boca Raton campus, 777 Glades Road. The monks will present the opening ceremony on Saturday, February 25 from noon to 1 p.m. They will then work on the mandala from Sunday, February 26 through Friday, March 2 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The public is welcome to view the construction of the mandala during these times. There will be a closing ceremony on Saturday, March 3 at 1 p.m.
There will be two other public programs while the monks are visiting. On Monday, February 27 at 4 p.m., Nathan Katz of the Program of Spirituality at Florida International University will present “What is a Mandala? What is Peace?” The lecture will take place in the House Chambers of the Student Union. Then on Wednesday, February 29 at 4 p.m., there will be a film screening of “Sand Painting: The Sacred Art of Tibet” followed by discussion. The screening will take place in the University Theatre.
From all the artistic traditions of Tantric Buddhism, 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 to form the mandala. 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 flow like liquid onto the platform.
The theme of the mandala at FAU will be Compassion, in honor of his Holiness the Dalai Lama of Tibet, who visited FAU in 2010.
During the closing ceremony, the monks dismantle the Mandala, sweeping up the colored sands to symbolize the impermanence of all that exists. Half of the sand will be distributed to the audience. The remainder will be taken to a body of water, where it is deposited.
All events are free and open to the public. For more information about the sand mandala and related events, visit www.fau.edu/galleries or call 561-297-2966.