This mandala sand painting is a gift
to New York City from the Tibetan Buddhist monks of Drepung
Loseling Monastery to commemorate the tragic events of September
11 and to honor His Holiness the Dalai Lama, who will receive
the prestigious Human Rights Award from the International
League for Human Rights on September 19.
A mandala is a symbol of the universe in its ideal form,
and its creation signifies the transformation of a universe
of suffering into one of joy. It can also be used as an aid
to meditation, helping the meditator to envision how to achieve
the perfect self. The construction of the mandala begins with
a ceremony in which the monks consecrate the site and call
forth forces of goodness through chants, meditation, and music.
Then, over the course of ten days, the monks will pour millions
of grains of colored sand from traditional metal funnels (chak-purs),
purifying and healing the space and its inhabitants in the
process. Shortly after its completion the monks will dismantle
the mandala to symbolize the impermanence of all that exists
and disperse the sand in order to share its blessing.
A Soul of Asia program. Free with museum admission.
Selections of Buddhist masterworks from the Mr. and Mrs.
John D. Rockefeller 3rd Collection of Asian Art are on display
within the building.
Made possible with generous support from Ruth and Harold
photos: Bryan Morehead © 1998 Loseling