Visitors at Be Yoga take a look at the finished sand mandala crafted by monks of the Drepung Loseling Phykhang Monastery, before it was destroyed on Nov. 11. Photo by Veronica Weber/Palo Alto Online.
Tibetan monk Nawang Yayang works on the sand mandala he and five other monks constructed at Be Yoga, beside an altar with a framed photo of the Dalai Lama. Photo by Veronica Weber/Palo Alto Online.
Created in three days, the sand mandala is meant to depict the house of Tara, a female Buddhist deity that represents compassion and action. Photo by Veronica Weber/Palo Alto Online.
Kalsang Tsering (left), Nawang Tenphel and Nawang Choegyl, Tibetan monks from the Drepung Loseling Phykhang Monastery, chant during the closing ceremony of the sand mandala they constructed from Nov. 9-11. Photo by Veronica Weber/Palo Alto Online.
Tibetan monk Lobsang Yeshi deconstructs the sand mandala, as a way of showing that everything is impermanent and has an end. Photo by Veronica Weber/Palo Alto Online.
From left, Nawang Yayang, Lobsang Yeshi and Nawang Choegyal work together to meticulously put together the sand mandala they are creating at Be Yoga on Nov. 11, 2012. Photo by Veronica Weber/Palo Alto Online.
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.