Tibetan Buddhist Monks to Create Mandala in DC for Protection of US

February 3, 2002

Source: The Atlanta Journal and Constitution


On February 3, 2002, The Atlanta Journal and Consitution reported that "for six hours a day for two weeks... 20 Tibetan Buddhist monks... [created] the largest sand painting ever constructed in the United States... They began creating Jan. 11, four months after terrorists struck the Pentagon, [until] the day of the painting's final consecration, just before it was destroyed, its millions of grains of crushed marble poured into the Tidal Basin. The mandala (meaning 'world in harmony') lives on, the monks say, as the waters of the Potomac disperse its protective energies to heal America. A similar mandala was cast into New York's Hudson River in December. People from many countries and of many faiths --- Jews, Catholics, Muslims, practicing Buddhists and a lot of Protestants --- stood in long lines at the gallery [in Washington DC] to see the intricate work made of ground marble dyed in iridescent colors. The circular mandala, measuring 7 feet by 7 feet, was ordered by the Dalai Lama and included the Akshobya Buddha, saved for the rarest occasions... The chants, drums, bells, cymbals and long graceful Tibetan horns, works of art themselves, were part of the closing ceremony. About 2,000 small vials of the colored sand were given to individuals, while the rest will flow to the Potomac [river], sending peace and healing throughout America."