by Janaki Jane
Hundreds of FolksFest attendees lined up Sunday evening to receive small bags of multicolored sand as a blessing from the Tibetan Buddhist monks
of Drepung Loseling. The same monks had done a smoke blessing for healing Lyons last Wednesday in Sandstone Park created a sand mandala over the weekend at FolksFest.
Over the weekend Tibetan Buddhist monks created a sand mandala, that symbolizes healing, purification, and conflict resolution. They then destroyed it and poured the sand in the river, in order to allow the healing energies to flow out to all beings on the earth.
Sand mandalas are created from 20 colors of sand as a two dimensional representation of one of a thousand Buddhist deities. The monks who make the mandalas over days or weeks have to memorize a sacred text that lays out the exact proportions of the mandala. They also have to do a retreat where they visualize the three-dimensional mandala repeatedly until making it is second nature.
The Drepung Loseling monastery in India is one of the largest in the entire world. Escaping monks from Tibet still come there almost daily. The monks who made the mandala and gave a performance of dance, theater and music on Sunday are traveling around the United States for a year to educate people about Tibetan culture and Buddhism, and to raise money to feed and clothe the monks in India, at the request of H.H. the Dalai Lama.