Home > Uncategorized > Tibetan Buddhist Monks Create Sand Mandala in Austin

Tibetan Buddhist Monks Create Sand Mandala in Austin

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Having experienced the University of Texas Blanton Museum exhibit of Tibetan Art twice – I was looking forward to five days of Cosmic Bliss as ten Buddhist monks from the Drepung Loseling Monastery in Tibet came to the Blanton to create and then disassemble an exquisite 5-foot-by-5-foot Buddhist sand Mandala atop a wooden table at the bottom of the museum’s large two-story atrium.

Bob Kinney Words & Photos

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The wonderous event concluded the Tibetan art exhibit in a perfect way – though Perfect is Not Possible (as Leonard Cohen sings “There is a Crack in Everything – That’s How the Light Gets In”) –

but you have to hold out for the infrequent moments of The Perfect – like monks creating Mandalas.

First experienced the Mandala on Thursday and returned the next day to photograph the wonder of it all. Noticed that it was half larger than it was 24 hours ago.

I had not seen a Mandala actually being created and it still brings smiles two weeks after the 13th day of January.

Bob Kinney Words & Photos

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Returned to the Mandala on Sunday afternoon along with an estimated 1,000 of my closet friends to witness the Closing Ceremony.

Museum space was so tight you stood in line and waited for someone to leave the Blanton so you could enter. Folks comfortably crowded the first and second floors and the connecting stairs filled up as well.

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Dressed formally in their robes and headdresses – the monks chanted and performed meditative songs as they began to take apart the Mandala.

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Half of the Mandala’s multi-colored and millions of its grains of sand were placed in tiny plastic baggies and given out to all of us who waited patiently in line.

The other half of the Mandala sand was placed in a ceremonial urn and taken through the UT campus to Waller Creek, just west across the street from the UT football stadium.

 Not only was I fortunate to get a baggie (and share some of it with two of favorite friends who could not be there) – I took part in a heartfelt procession of the monks with one of those friends, Olivia – and about one thousand of  other blissful folks –

to Waller Creek. The water did turn to blue – green – red – and other Mandala colors as the monks slipped the sand into the Waller Waters to launch and prove its Impermanence.

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Bob Kinney Words & Photos

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