Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Sand Mandalas

Now often demonstrated by the Dalai Lama and groups of Tibetan monks, the sand mandala ceremony begins with chants, music, prayers, and then pouring millions of grains of sand in bright colors from a metal tube called a chakpu. The finished mandala is about five by five feet in diameter, and takes three to five days to complete.

The creation process concludes with a consecration ceremony, and then... they dismantle the mandala!

Formed into traditionally prescribed Tibetan iconography that includes geometric shapes and historical Buddhist symbols, the sand mandala is a tool to consecrate and bless the earth and its inhabitants. The dismantling of the mandala symbolizes the impermanence of all existence.

Those of us who have become attached to life, and fearful of losing it, have much to learn.