Thursday, January 31, 2013

Work on the mandala continues

The Tibetan Monks visiting Texas State from the Deprung Loseling Monestary near Atlanta were still hard at work Thursday afternoon on a ceremonial sand mandala.

The mandala, a traditional Buddhist symbol of the universe, is made entirely of colored sand. The monks have been working on it since they arrived at the university Monday. By Thursday, only the outermost parts of the circle remained to be filled.

"When you create from the center out, you're watching what kind of meaning and message it's going to give," said Lobsang Dhondup, one of the visiting monks.

The intricate artwork is made by scooping the sand into tiny ridged funnels, then rubbing a stick over the sides knocking sand out little by little.

"The pattern, story and mystic understanding (of the mandala) has been passed down from the masters," Dhondup said.

There has been a constant crowd of students, faculty, staff and community members alike in the Student Center watching the monks work this week. Some even came from out of town specifically to see them.

One such person was Amy, who did not want to give her last name because she called in sick to work for the chance to see the monks. Amy is a Buddhist herself and was excited to look at the mandala to find her own meaning in it.

She had previously tried to see the monks at the Austin Museum of Art, but the event was so crowded she couldn't get a good look.

"I think it's fortunate we get to see them so close," Amy said.

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