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'Impermanence of life'

The Catholic Telegraph, April 2007

Interfaith event held at Xavier University

Cincinnati, Ohio (USA) -- For five days in April, Buddhist monks from Drepung Gomang Monastic College in Mundgod, India, created a sand mandala at Xavier University's McDonald Library. The public was welcome to view the work.

Buddhist monks from Drepung Gomang Monastic College in Mundgog, India, prepare to disassemble a mandala they created in Xavier University's McDonald Library.

The mandala was disassembled in a closing ceremony April 14, when Xavier University President, Jesuit Father Michael Graham, was on hand to join the monks.

In accordance with tradition, each attendee at the closing ceremony received a bag of sand.

The mandala (Sanskrit for circle) is an ancient form of Tibetan Buddhism. Mandalas are drawings in three-dimensional forms of sand. In Tibetan, this art is called dul-tson-kyil-khor, which means "46 mandala of colored powder."

Millions of grains of sand are painstakingly laid into place on a flat platform over a period of days. When finished, to symbolize the impermanence of all that exists, the colored sands are swept up and poured into a nearby river or stream where the waters carry healing energies throughout the world, according to the Tibetan Buddhist tradition.

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