A unique and sacred mandala sand painting will be created at the University Library Art Gallery by Buddhist monks from the Drepung Loseling Monastery as part of a Mystical Arts of Tibet program beginning at noon on Monday, April 11.
The creation of the mandala at SSU can be viewed all week by visiting http://library.sonoma.edu/about/gallery.php. A Mystical Arts of Tibet presentation of a sand mandala creation can be found at http://www.mysticalartsoftibet.org/Man-Proc.htm#top.
The creation of the mandala sand painting begins with an opening ceremony at which the monks consecrate the site and call forth the forces of goodness by means of chanting, music and mantra recitation. SSU has chosen the Green Tara mandala, representing wisdom, for its site.
Traditionally most sand mandalas are destroyed shortly after their completion. This is done as a metaphor of the impermanence of life. The sands are swept up and placed in an urn; to fulfill the function of healing, half is distributed to the audience at the closing ceremony, while the remainder is carried to a nearby body of water, where it is deposited. The waters then carry the healing blessing to the ocean, and from there it spreads throughout the world for planetary healing.
The closing ceremony will be held on Thursday, April 14 at noon at the University Library Art Gallery. Eleven monks will be living on the SSU campus in three residential suites from Sunday through Friday of next week as they work on the construction of the mandala.
From all the artistic traditions of Tantric Buddhism, that of painting with colored sand ranks as one of the most unique and exquisite. Millions of grains of sand are painstakingly laid into place on a flat platform over a period of days or weeks to form the image of a mandala. To date, the Drepung Loseling monks have created mandala sand paintings in more than 100 museums, art centers, and colleges and universities in the United States and Europe.
In a final program, sacred Tibetan temple music will fill the hall of the Green Music Center on Wednesday, April 13 at 7:30 p.m. in a free performance that combines multiphonic chanting, music and dance into an unforgettable experience. The pieces are drawn from authentic temple dances, performed for thousands of years in Tibet. The traditional rhythms and flourishing, beautiful costumes coalesce into an extravagant 90- minute program.
The presentation and performance are presented by Associated Students Productions in cooperation with the Multicultural Center and is made possible by the generous support of the Instructionally Related Activities fund. The public is welcome to attend. For further information, contact Casey Kelly, Associated Students Productions, (707) 664-2753.