Recently, Iowa State University hosted Tibetan Monks from Drepung Loseling Monastery where they created the art form "Mandalas". I had never seen or heard of this so it was an adventure in a beautiful product with a very interesting and intricate process. Patience is the key!
There are several official steps in creating this art form. An opening ceremony followed by the "drawing of the lines" starts the 4 day process.
Once the lines are drawn, the colored grains of sand are distributed with the tube tools shown on the left side of the photograph. Each grain of sand is tapped out with a minute vibration into a colorful design. The lines are carefully defined, working from the center out. As you can see, the monks have to maintain this bending position, rotating and resting with the group. They did rest at night, thank goodness.
These are the tools of their art.
Aren't the colors just beautiful?
Once the Mandala was completed, there was a closing ceremony and dispersal of the sand. The final product, although short lived, illustrates that these designs don't last forever and we need to appreciate them in their brief time.
Until next Tuesday….