A senior monk from the Namgyal Monastery (home of the Dalai Lama) will create a Tibetan sand mandala at Fort Worden State Park September 30-October 4, at the USO building. The public is invited to view the creation of the mandala, and a public presentation will be held at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, October 3rd. This exhibition is presented by the Tibetan Children’s Education Foundation’s Cultural Awareness program. TCEF is a Montana based non-profit with the primary focus of providing education and basic needs to Tibetans in exile.
The mandala will be created by the Venerable Ngawang Chojor, a senior monk from Namgyal Monastery, now living in Madison, Wisconsin.
Sand Mandalas are unique to Tibetan and Native American culture; they are believed to affect purification and healing. They are created by hand and embody traditional meditative designs that represent the universal qualities of harmony, balance, community and pure wisdom.
For centuries, Tibetan mandalas were seen exclusively by the monks and nuns of Buddhist monasteries. In 1988, however, the Dalai Lama, the spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhism, decreed that mandalas be constructed for the public to witness. Tibetans have long believed that to witness the creation of a mandala is to cultivate these enduring qualities within each of us, and so to witness the creation of a mandala is to lay the foundation for a strong and balanced human community.
Traditionally most sand mandalas are destroyed shortly after their completion. This is done as a metaphor of the impermanence of life.
Also on display will be a collection of photographs on loan from the Archives of the Tibetan Government in exile on exhibition, as well as a collection of sacred Thangka paintings, some of which will be available for sale.