tibetan monks and their sand mandala

October 20, 2010
such attention to detail
When I walked into work on Friday, three Tibetan monks were working on a sand mandala in the main lobby. I know this seems really random, but the Dalai Lama came to speak on campus so I'd seen monks in red all over for the past couple of days. None of that prepared me for how amazing sand mandalas are.

Basically, the monks put colored sand into one end of these metal stick things, and then quickly rub the stick's metal ridges with another stick so that the sand comes out slowly. Then, slowly but surely, a beautiful sand mandala is made with vibrant colors and stunningly intricate designs. The best/worst part about these mandalas is that they can blow away at any moment. All of the sand is loose and if a gust of wind came into the building, the piece would be destroyed. As sad as this sounds, the pieces were made to be ephemeral because they symbolize "Buddhist doctrinal belief in the transitory nature of material life."

The piece has expanded even further since I took these pictures and it's so amazing. So much patience, dedication and creativity for something so beautiful.
buddhist monks working on their sand mandala
sand in all different colors
for the dalai lama
such beautiful colors
P.S. -This week, I was featured at Janelle's for Magic Monday and wrote about cliff jumping!


  1. Great great pictures. Love them <3

    xo, Mel


  2. cool! there's a huge Monk population in the area of central Florida I'm in (weird I know) & they're always on campus!

  3. that is ridiculously incredible..

  4. That's amazing!!! Did you go hear him speak? That would be crazy cool.

  5. @Laura- I was one of the unfortunates that was not able to go see him... Boo.

  6. awesome! 'the transitory nature of material life' ~i love that phrase and i love this post.

  7. oh my gosh!! until i saw the jars of colored sand, i thought that the only the white places were what they made. that is so so amazing. i can't even believe it.

    thank you for sharing!!

  8. wow that is so interesting o.o!

    also im trying to help my very good friend in getting a bit of more followers for his art blog
    maybe you'll like to stop by and support his blog by following. that would be so great! ^.^ thx


  9. I found your blog through Kim, and love it! What an interesting post... I love learning new things through blogs.

  10. This is absolutely incredible!!! I had never heard of this before and I can't believe the Dalai Lama came to your campus. What was that like???