Sand Mandala is a unique Tibetan Buddhist art form that uses tiny grains of coloured sand to create an intricate design. Each design takes days to create and uses millions of grains of sand. The sand is placed in a brass funnel, and when tapped with a deer antler horn, a stream of sand trickles out. The work of art is highly symbolic. Each mandala has a specific design, colour and significance which is memorised by the artists.

At Mahamudra Centre, two Tibetan monks will create a Chenrezig Sand Mandala. Chenrezig, the Buddha of Compassion, is the manifestation of enlightened compassionate energy (also known as Avalokitesvara in Sanskrit, Guanyin in Chinese). The Mandala represents the abode of Chenrezig, and is said to bring compassion, harmony, and peace into this world.

But the work of art is fleeting – after finishing, the intricate mosaic will be swept up in a closing ceremony and the grains of sand scattered into Colville Bay. The meaning is to awaken in the mind an understanding of the impermanent nature of material things. Pouring the sand into the ocean also blesses the environment, and each grain of sand becomes a seed of compassion in the world. This dissolution ceremony will be held from 10am-12 noon, on Monday 5 April.

Visitors are most welcome to watch the monks at work and see the mandala taking shape. Just drop in free of charge anytime between 10am-3pm, 27 March-4 April 2021.

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