Mandala being created by monks at GCC meant to symbolize love and compassion

May 2, 2012

A group of Tibetan monks are at Genesee Community College this week creating a sand mandala as part of the inauguration ceremony celebration week for new college President Jim Sunser.

Sand mandalas are created using colored sand and the art form goes back at least 2,500 years.

Once created, mandalas are destroyed in a ceremony and the sand dispersed in the nearest body of flowing water.

On Friday, at 10 a.m., the monks will sweep away the sand of their painstakingly created work of art, take the sand in bags to the Tonawanda Creek and dump it into the flowing water.

Spokesman Tanzin Nawang said the process reminds us that life is just temporary.

The monks are members of the Drepung Loseling Monastery in Tibet.

Besides the mandala being painted by the monks, students and members of the GCC community are also working on mandalas in order to learn about the art form.

Every mandala has symbols with various means. Nawang said the mandala being created by the monks visiting GCC is about love and compassion.

"Everybody by nature wants to be happy and live in peace and harmony," Nawang said. "They do not want to suffer, so it is important to devote love and compassion, and when you devote your life to love and compassion, you will receive love and compassion.

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