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Creating a 'world in harmony'

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Five monks from the Drepung Loseling Phykhang Monastery in India spent Nov. 9-11 at Be Yoga in Palo Alto crafting a colorful sand mandala, which in Sanskrit means "world in harmony."

According to an explanation of the artform from Be Yoga: "Whoever views the mandala experiences profound peace and joy."

The monks began with an opening ceremony, with chanting, music and mantra recitation. Then came several days of painstakingly laying out the grains of sand to create the mandala. Visitors came to watch the process and view the finished mandala, after which the monks performed a closing ceremony in which they swept away the mandala, distributing half the sand to the audience to be kept in their homes "as a blessing for their personal health and healing."

Photos and video by Veronica Weber/Palo Alto Online.

— Palo Alto Weekly staff

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Like this comment
Posted by Gethin
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 16, 2012 at 11:32 am

This was a very beautiful event to hold in Palo Alto. Being able to watch the monks create the mandala so closely was fascinating.

Like this comment
Posted by Ducatigirl
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Nov 16, 2012 at 12:15 pm

If yu ever get a chance to see the monks create these sand mandalas, it is an amazing creative process which takes hours and hours. Later, it is all swept away as an illustration of impermanence.

Most Tibetan Buddhists that we see in this country are from India, Nepal, New York, or Colorado, as China does not allow Buddhism to be practiced in Tibet, other than as a tourist attraction. The aforementioned locations have sizeable Tibetan populations and Tibetan Buddhism Centers. Nova Scotia actually has a Tibetan Abbey.

Like this comment
Posted by Jack
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Nov 16, 2012 at 3:10 pm

I think this is the same group that created a sand mandala at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Palo Alto early in 2011. Watching it being made was really an amazing experience, as was letting all that beauty go when the patterns were destroyed at the end.

Like this comment
Posted by Jack
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Nov 16, 2012 at 3:57 pm

I found some more detailed photos of the sand mandala that they made last year at the UU Church:

Web Link

Like this comment
Posted by Ducatigirl
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Nov 16, 2012 at 4:57 pm

Thanx, Jack!

Like this comment
Posted by Sharon
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 16, 2012 at 6:26 pm

The Christian narrative is -ashes to ashes-dust to dust

With the Christian opera in between-followed by eternal life.

We like the Christian opera etc.

We understand that the UU does not define itself as a Christian denomination so the sponsorship of this- actually Tibetan ritual-makes sense for them.

as the spirit of the ritual is to eradicate the mandala-how to they feel about the photos?

Seems inconsistent with their beliefs

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