Tibetan monks to create sand mandala at WFU’s Hanes art gallery

A Tibetan monk sand mandala

Tibetan monks from the Gaden Shartse Cultural Foundation will create a two-dimensional sand mandala at Hanes Gallery in Scales Fine Arts Center from Monday, Oct. 15 through Thursday, Oct. 18.

The making of a sand mandala comes from an ancient Tibetan Buddhist tradition involving ritual geometric patterns made from colored sand.

On Oct. 15, an opening ceremony will be held at 10:30 a.m. in the gallery. Sand painting will begin at 1:30 p.m. and continue until 5 p.m. A meet and greet with the monks will be offered from 7 to 8:30 p.m.

The monks will spend between 75 and 120 hours making the mandala – the most creative, labor-intensive, and concentration-intensive of all mandalas. The design of the mandala is marked with chalk. Starting from the center and working outwards, the monks use metal funnels to place millions of grains of dyed sand to make the elaborate patterns.

From Oct. 16 through 18, monks will be sand painting from 9 a.m. to noon and again from 1:30 to 5 p.m.

Other events during the visit include three lectures:

  • Oct. 16: Love & Compassion at Highland Presbyterian Church, 6 to 7:30 p.m.
  • Oct. 17: World Peace & Unity of All Religions at WFU’s Museum of Anthropology, 6 to 7:30 p.m.
  • Oct. 18: Healing Ritual in Wait Chapel, 6 to 7:30 p.m. (Space is limited to the first 500 people.)

During the closing ceremony at 11 a.m. on Oct. 19, the monks will sweep up the mandala as a reminder of the impermanence of life. The sand will be placed into the creek near the Scales Fine Arts Center as a way of extending healing powers to the whole world.

The opening ceremony, sand painting, lectures and closing ceremonies are free and open to the public.

The creation of the sand mandala is part of Silk Roads Winston-Salem. Wake Forest University’s Silk Roads series advances understanding of global cross-cultural exchange as it relates to the historic Silk Roads through a program of themed events from across academic disciplines. A variety of lectures, panels, workshops, performances and exhibitions will be offered through spring 2019.

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