GARY | The Miller Beach Arts and Creative District is hosting the creation of a Peace Sand Mandala by the monks of Drepung Gomang Monastery from Monday through Thursday at the Marshall J. Gardner Center for the Arts, 540 S. Lake St.
An opening ceremony will begin at 1 p.m. Monday, and the ongoing construction will be open to viewing daily from 10 a.m to 4 p.m. Donations will be accepted.
During the opening, Geshe Lharampa Lobsang Dhondup, tour leader, and the tour monks will chant prayers for peace, prosperity and healing in traditional overtones—the chant master intoning a full chord of three notes. This chanting will be accompanied by delicate hand gestures, cymbals, drums, horns and flutes.
The mandala, a Tibetan sand painting, is an ancient art form of Tibetan Buddhism. The sand mandala is carefully constructed from dyed sand particles as a way to generate compassion, to realize the impermanence of reality, and to create a social/cosmic healing of the environment.
The closing ceremony will take place at 4 p.m. Thursday, when the mandala will be deconstructed and the sands taken to Marquette Pavilion and dispersed in the lagoons. Mandalas are destroyed at the end of the ritual as a symbol of the impermanence of all things.
The monks of Drepung Gomang are touring the U.S. to share the compassion and wisdom of Tibetan Buddhism, demonstrate the artistic accomplishments of the people of Tibet, and generate funds to house, feed, educate, and provide medical care to more than 2,000 monks living at the monastery, including orphans and refugees fleeing Chinese occupied Tibet.
Information about the monastery is available at www.gomang.org.