Nov. 6, 2017

A group of Tibetan monks from the Gaden Shartse Monastery in southern India visited Buena Vista University Oct. 30 – Nov. 3. During their visit, they educated others about their culture and shared an artistic tradition with the community by constructing a sand mandala throughout the week.

The mandala tradition began with an opening ceremony, in which the site was blessed before an outline of a mandala was drawn on a wooden platform and colored sands were laid down.

“It is a real honor to have the Tibetan monks from the Gaden Shartse Monastery with us for a week. They are artists, educators, and monks. Their creation of the mandala is a beautiful process to experience: it is a work of art in and of itself.”

Dr. Swasti Bhattacharyya

Once it was complete, the mandala was destroyed during a closing ceremony, symbolizing the fleeting nature of life. The sands were swept up and placed in an urn. Half was distributed to spectators and the remainder was deposited into the waters of Storm Lake.