Tibetan Monks create mandala

Buddhist monks from the Drepung Loseling Monastery chant for the opening cemeory of the Mystical Arts of Tibet. The monks demonstrate the work of mandala sand painting step by step in Main Lounge of the Memorial Union. 

Paige Godden

Tibetan monks have started building a sand mandala in the Memorial Union.

An opening ceremony for the creation of the mandala marked the beginning of a four-day series of events that is planned to teach the ISU community about the mandala and Tibetan culture.

Before the monks begin work on the sand mandala they must work through a few steps.

The first, said one monk, is to examine in the site. In this case, the decision was to build the mandala in the Main Lounge of the Memorial Union.

The monks then request permission from the local deities so the monks do not encroach on their territory.

The monks then have to dispel obstacles or hindrances through chants and music.

Immediately after the opening ceremonies in the MU, the monks began drawing lines for the mandala.

According to the monks, the creation of a mandala helps maintain memory and is about meditation and the happier things in life, such as love and the reduction of stress.

The monks said the mandala is also about finding the center and essence of ultimate beliefs.

The mandala will be completed at 11 a.m. Thursday, and the dispersal of sand will be at 12:45 p.m.

The dispersal of sand is the destruction of the mandala, an act to symbolize that all life will come to an end.