Buddhist monks build sand mandala at college through Wednesday

Asbury Park Press, Nov 28, 2005

MIDDLETOWN, New Jersey (USA) -- Brookdale Community College's International Center invites the community to three days of special events and lectures by the monks of Namgyal Monastery Institute and Buddhist Studies on Tibetan culture and creation of a sand mandala.

The free presentations will take place at the Lincroft main campus today through Wednesday and are appropriate for all ages.

The monks will construct a sand mandala in the Center for Visual Arts (CVA) building from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day. After the completion of the sand Mandala on Wednesday, the monks will dismantle it and cast the particles in a body of water, a process symbolizing the transience of life and the ideal of nonattachment to the material world. The Mandala is believed to have positive effect on all who see it.

The mystical tantric art of sand mandalas is a part of secret initiation ceremonies, created by Buddhist monks and nuns. They have been open for viewing by laypeople only in recent years as a cultural offering and means to preserve the Tibetan culture.

The monks will deliver the lecture, "Introduction to the Art of Sand Mandalas" today at 1:30 p.m. in the Donald D. Warner Student Life Center, Twin Lights room I.

Tonight, Doroth Reilly, past director of education at the Tibetan Museum, Staten Island will deliver a lecture, "Tibet: The roof of the World." She will speak in the Warner Student Life Center, Twin Lights room II at 7 p.m. Her lecture will include a slide show of Tibetan culture and art and she will have on display Tibetan cultural artifacts.

Tomorrow, the monks will deliver the lecture at 10:30 a.m. in the Performing Arts Center, room 101 and Wednesday, the lecture will be held in the Student Life Center, Twin Lights room II.

For more information, call the center at (732) 224-2799.