According to Tibetan Buddhist history, the purpose, meaning and the techniques involved in the spiritual art of the sand Mandala painting were taught by Buddha Sakyamuni in the 6th century B. C. in India. The subject of a Tibetan sand painting is known in Sanskrit as a Mandala. In general all mandala’s have outer, inner and secret meanings. On the outer level they represent the world in its divine form; on the inner level they represent a map by which the ordinary human mind is transformed into enlightened mind; and on the secret level they depict the primordially perfect balance of the subtle energies of the body and the clear light dimension of the mind. The creation of a sand painting is said to effect purification and healing on these three levels.

Creation Process

creation-mandalaMandala can be visualized, painted or constructed from wood, precious jewels, rice, flower and so forth. From all the artistic traditions of Tantric Buddhism, that of painting with colored sand ranks as one of the most unique and exquisite because of its number and the great skill required to create the mandala’s exquisite details. In Tibetan this art is called dul-tson-kyil-khor, which literally means “Mandala of colored powders

Before laying down the sand, the monks assigned to the project will draw the geometric measurements associated with the Mandala. The sand granules are then applied using small tubes, funnels, and scrapers, until the desired pattern over-top is achieved.

Ritual destruction

destruction-mandalaTraditionally most sand mandala’s are destroyed shortly after their completion Since the sand mandala’s are created in the spirit of impermanence and non attachment of live, after they are completed, they are dismantled with a ceremony and swept up placed in an urn carried to a nearby water and offered to the body of water The waters then carry the healing energies to the ocean, and from there it spreads throughout the world for planetary healing for the benefit of marine life, the environment and all sentient beings.

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