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Tibetan Sand Mandala, Day 1

Image shows 2 monks using tools to create sand mandala on table.
Two Tibetan Monks start construction on the sand mandala, starting with orange and blue.

Tibetan monks from a monastery in South India will be constructing a sand mandala from January 13-17. The mandala is meant to bring compassion to the surrounding region. 

“The reason we are constructing this mandala is the sufferings and conflicts that are going around,” monk Ven Lobsang Dawa said through translator Lobsang Dhondup. “The construction benefits a little bit in creating world peace.”

The construction began with an opening ceremony, involving prayer through chanting and music.

“When you build a house or something you need permission from the city,” said Dawa about the prayer. “Creating this mandala is like a mansion for the buddha. We’re asking permission from the land.”

The monks come from the Drepung Loseling Monastery and will be constructing a few sand mandalas across the United States. Clark College will be their only stop in the Pacific Northwest. 

Construction of the sand mandala will continue Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. On Friday, the mandala will be finished from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. A closing ceremony will occur from 2 to 3 p.m. and some of the sand will be distributed to those in attendance. The remaining sand will then be disbursed at the Vancouver Waterfront Park. 

The Indy will be posting photo and story updates throughout the construction of the mandala.

Image shows a table of bowls each with a different color of sand.
The Tibetan Monks use several different colors of sand to construct the Mandala. Each color represents a different element.

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