As part of a tour put on by an organization called The Mystical Arts of Tibet, a group of Tibetan Buddhist monks from the Drepung Loseling Monastery in India recently visited the Crow Collection of Asian Art in Dallas, Texas. They were there for a weeklong residency during which they constructed this magnificent Tantric Buddhist mandala sandpainting.
The monks will spend up to eight hours a day working together on one of their sandpaintings. The process starts with an opening ceremony and the consecration of work site.
Each work begins as a drawing, the outline of the mandala. Then, colored sand is poured from traditional metal funnels called chak-purs. Each monk holds a chak-pur in one hand, while running a metal rod on its grated surface; the vibration causes the sands to flow like liquid.
Once the sandpainting has been completed it is ceremoniously destroyed using a ritual vajra.
"The sands are swept up and placed in an urn; to fulfill the function of healing, half is distributed to the audience at the closing ceremony, while the remainder is carried to a nearby body of water, where it is deposited. The waters then carry the healing blessing to the ocean, and from there it spreads throughout the world for planetary healing."
[via My Modern Metropolis]