Sand Mandala Opening Ceremony W/ Drepung Gomang Monks

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Sand Mandala Opening Ceremony W/ Drepung Gomang Monks
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Tibetan House says
The Drepung Gomang Monks tour the United States to share the sacred art of Tibet and to raise funds for their monastery and the community services they provide.

Sand painting is an ancient art form of Tibetan Buddhism. The term “mandala” is a Sanskrit word meaning cosmogram, or “world in harmony.” The sand mandala is carefully constructed from dyed sand particles as a vehicle to generate compassion, to realize the impermanence of reality, and to create a social/cosmic healing of the environment.

The creation of a sand mandala begins with an opening ceremony. Monks consecrate the site and call forth the forces of goodness through chanting mantras accompanied by flutes, drums and cymbals.

The construction of the mandala begins with the drawing of the design on the base, or tek-pu. The artists measure out and draw the architectural lines using a straight-edged ruler, compass and ink pen. The mandala is a formal geometric pattern showing the floor plan of a sacred mansion. Once the diagram is drawn, in the following days you see millions of grains of colored sand painstakingly laid into place.

The sand, colored with vegetable dyes or opaque tempera, is poured onto the mandala platform with a narrow metal funnel called a "chakpur" which is scraped by another metal rod to cause sufficient vibration for the grains of sand to trickle out of its end. The two "chakpurs" are said to symbolize the union of wisdom and compassion. The mandalas are created whenever a need for healing of the environment and living beings is felt.

The monks consider our present age to be one of great need in this respect, and therefore are creating these mandalas where requested throughout their world tours. When finished, to symbolize the impermanence of all that exists, the colored sands are swept up and poured into a nearby river or stream where the waters carry healing energies throughout the world.

*Visit the Drepung Gomang Monks
while they create the Sand Mandala:
Thursday, March 10, - Saturday, March 12
10am-5pm
New Orleans Healing Center
2372 St. Claude Avenue

Closing Dissolution Ceremony of Sand Mandala
Sunday, March 13, 11am – 1pm
The mandala is swept up and shared with the community in a ceremony of gratitude and blessings. This event will include a trip to the Mississippi River where the sand will be released into the water.
New Orleans Healing Center
2372 St. Claude Avenue

More Information about Drepung Gomang Monastery is available on their website: www.drepunggomang.org.
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By: Tibetan House

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