Tibetan Buddhist monks from Drepung Loseling Monastery will construct a Mandala Sand Painting next week at Spokane Community College. As part of Welcome Week to welcome students to fall quarter and in honor of the International Day of Peace, SCC’s student activities board is bringing the event to campus.
The event begins with an opening ceremony on Tuesday, Sept. 19 at 12 p.m. in the SCC Lair Student Center, Building 6, 1810 N Greene St., Spokane. During the opening ceremony, the monks consecrate the site and call forth the forces of goodness through chanting, music and mantra recitation.
The Mandala Sand Painting lasts until 6 p.m. that evening. It continues Wednesday, Sept. 20 and Thursday, Sept. 21 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. On Thursday, there will also be a lecture titled, “A Buddhist Approach to Working with Emotions” at 10:30 a.m.
Friday, Sept. 22, the sand painting is completed 9 – 10 a.m., and the closing ceremony is at 11:30 a.m. The closing ceremony includes a walk with the monks to the Spokane River for a ritual where they pour the sand in the river.
From all the artistic traditions of Tantric Buddhism, painting with colored sand ranks as one of the most unique and exquisite. Millions of grains of sand are painstakingly laid into place on a flat platform over a period of days or weeks to form the image of a mandala. To date the monks have created mandala sand paintings in more than 100 museums, art centers, colleges and universities in the United States and Europe.
Mandala is a Sanskrit word meaning sacred cosmogram. These cosmograms can be created in various media, such as watercolor on canvas, wood carvings and more. However, the most spectacular and enduringly popular are those made from colored sand. High resolution photos of their art can be found here.
The event is free and open to the public and is presented by BigFoot Events. For more information, call 509-533-8900 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Read more event information here.