Sunday afternoon I attended the opening ceremony for the creation of a sand mandela at the University of Arkansas, in the Anne Kittrell room of the Student Union. Generally, a sand mandela is a Tibetan tradition of monks creating and subsequently destroying a mandela made of colored sand...grain by grain. It is meant to depict the transitory nature of material life.
Creating it is a lot of concentrated effort requiring many hours of tedious attention; the end result is always beautiful and then it is gone. Yes, it is a lot like life.
The Mystical Arts of Tibet are creating the mandela and they also will be performing and chanting at the Peace ceremony on Thursday. I have tried to link to their website, but all connections result in "bad link"...I will try again later, so check back.
Here are some shots I got at the opening ceremony; I am hoping to also attend the closing ceremony where I may get some shots of the finished (but un-destroyed) mandela.
The opening ceremony which included throat singing, chanting and music.
Once the festivities were complete...it was on to the job at hand. Here the monk is fastidiously making the pattern for the mandela.
This is a sample of the completed pattern that is used in preparing the mandela.
Here are the tools that the monks will use.
Here is the colored sand that will be the mandela.
Oh, the best news of all is that this particular mandela is being prepared in anticipation of the Dalai Lama visit, which should take place on May 11, 2011. Very exciting.