Tibetan Buddhist monk Geshe Sangpo has returned to Elon University this week to create the eighth sand mandala for the campus community. Last year Sangpo came to campus for the first time after the pandemic to create a mandala and is continuing the tradition this year.
The making of a sand mandala comes from an ancient Tibetan Buddhist art tradition. The Sanskrit word “mandala” means “world in harmony.” The sand art is constructed to generate compassion and aims to heal the environment. In Tibetan, a mandala is an imaginary place that is contemplated during meditation and each aspect of it has significance.
This year a Green Tara sand mandala will be constructed. The name comes from the Buddhist figure Tara, who represents enlightened activity and compassion. She will be represented in the center of the mandala.
The sand mandala creation will continue throughout the week and visitors are encouraged to watch the process. A closing ceremony will be held at 3 p.m. Sept. 16 in Numen Lumen Pavillion.