A number of monastaries have been established in India, preserving the traditions and teachings of Tibetan Buddhism. The monks of the Drepung Gomang Monastery are touring the United States as part of what is called the Sacred Arts Tour. They are currently assembling a sand mandala on the floor of the Mariposa Museum in Peterbrough, New Hampshire. The Museum’s website features a live video feed (9am – 5 pm) of the mandala for folks who can’t visit.
“The Tibetan sand mandala is a balanced, geometric composition designed to guide individuals along the path to enlightenment as they gain wisdom and compassion. It also transmits positive energies to the environment and to people. Monks meditating upon it imagine it as a three-dimensional palace, inhabited by forces that embody philosophical views and teachings. Monks begin construction by consecrating the site with sacred chants and music. Next, they make a detailed drawing, then over days fill in the design with grains of colored sand. When it is completed, the mandala is consecrated, then swept apart, reflecting the impermanent nature of existence. The sands are then dispersed in flowing water.”
– Source: Mariposa Website
I attended a wonderful cultural pageant on Wednesday which featured chanting, dancing and a demonstration of religious debate. The first video was taken at that event. The second video demonstrates the construction of the mandala.