As part of Chadwick School's community service program, Tibetan monks from the Phukhang Khamtsen Drepung Loseling Monastic University have returned this fall to create a sand mandala over a 3 1/2 day span. If anything, I am even more moved this time than I was two-years ago. If you click the monks link above there is a list of places they will appear on the West Coast this fall and a fascinating 5 minute video showing the monks in their opening ceremony, the sand mandala process, and the closing ceremony. It is well worth watching.
Here are four of the monks at work on the 2012 mandala which is far more complex, we're told, than the one they made two years ago. There are chairs set up in our dining hall for visitors to watch the process.
The monks bring several containers of colored sand and have a variety of implements they use to build the sand mandala. If you watch the video, some of the process includes blowing gently into a tool.The name of this blog since its inception in 2004 is "Sacred Ordinary" and I'm so delighted when I see the blending of the secular and the sacred in every day settings. It's particularly meaningful to have this ceremony at a school where children from grades K-12 can experience the world's diversity first-hand.