VANCOUVER, Wash. (KOIN) — A Buddhist sand painting, also known as a sand mandala, is being constructed — and then deconstructed — this week in the library at Clark College in Vancouver.
It is a colorful religious portrait, symbolic with many of the virtues of Tibetan Buddhism with a white lotus at its center representing the Buddha of compassion. Through copper funnels they meticulously vibrate each and every colored grain of sand into a work of religious art.
“Construction of mandala is symbolism just to train our mind that if you be a kind and compassionate being you can have a happy life,” said one of the sand painters.
The sand mandala is an important fixture of Buddhist belief. Each layer around the white lotus circle represents something. The transformation of an enlightened mind, the perfect balance of subtle energies of the mind and the world in its divine form.
The mandala, according to Buddist tradition, emanates good fortune and well being to all around it.
“The reason we are constructing this mandala is for the promotion of world peace with so many sufferings and conflicts going on right now.”
It has a lot of meaning and it takes several days for the monks to rattle each grain of sand into the proper place to make a breathtaking sand painting.
To emphasize the impermanence of everything around us the deconstruction ceremony is set for 2 p.m. Friday. Monks will sweep away everything they’ve made this week, even sweep some of it into the Columbia River as a blessing of goodwill to animals in the ocean.