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Making a mandala

4 July 2007 by Karen

four men in red robes bending over a colourful pattern

The monks working on the mandala

This week World Museum Liverpool is really lucky to be hosting a group of Tibetan Buddhist monks from the Tashi Lhumpo monastery. They are creating an intricate sand painting called a mandala in the Treasure House Theatre. Millions of colourful grains of sand are positioned using tubes and scrapers to create the most beautiful painting – this one depicts a celestial mansion of the Buddhist deities. The concentration is amazing and helps the monks in their meditations. You can see the progress so far on flickr (it’s good to watch the progress in the slideshow).

The mandala won’t be on display at the museum for long though – just as a ceremony marks the beginning of the process so another ceremony marks the destruction of the mandala, symbolising the impermanence of existence and warning against attachment to worldly goods. So if you would like to see the mandala there are talks at 2pm and 3pm today, tomorrow and Friday, and the destruction ceremony at 10.15am on Saturday (7 July). Hopefully have snaps of that ceremony next week. More info on these and other talks in the what’s on section on the main site.

And if you want to learn more about mandalas check out wikipedia.

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