Colorful Creations, Spiritual Lessons from Buddhist Monks

October 9, 2006


Source: The Buddhist Channel/Staten Island Advance,3279,0,0,1,0

In a symbol of their belief that everything with a beginning must come to an end, an elaborate and colorful sand diagram was swept away in minutes yesterday by the same lamas who spent three days creating it.

Lama Pema Wangdak from Tibet, Lama Kunga Dhondup from Napal and Lama Guru Gyaltsen from India had started work Thursday on the medicine Buddha sand mandala, which was created in the spirit of impermanence, at the Jacques Marchais Museum of Tibetan Art on Lighthouse Hill. They finished it on Saturday.

Yesterday, before a crowd of dozens, the three quickly demolished the mandala, by gathering the sand into a pile and then dispersing it in water during a simple but complex ceremony that included them ringing bells and saying chants.

The medicine Buddha mandala is created for the healing of sickness and disease, as well as pain and suffering.

"It really reinforces my spirituality," said Jim Hennessy, a Great Kills resident who has been practicing Buddhism for more than 20 years and waited in a long line of people eager to take their envelope full of sand to place in a body of water they choose.