Tibetan Buddhist monk Geshe Sangpo will arrive at Elon University on Sept. 6 for the ninth year to construct a sand mandala.

Sangpo, a member of the Kadampa Center for the Practice of Tibetan Buddhism in the Gelugpa Tradition in Raleigh, has visited Elon each year since 2013 — with the exception of 2020 — to create a Green Tara Sand Mandala.

Sand mandalas, which means “world in harmony” in Sanskrit, are created with intricate patterns of marble dust and are typically circular pieces of art. With this definition in mind, multifaith intern Alexandra James said she admires the patience and creativity of the project.

“To me, it's a mixture of diligence and craft, since the mandala takes days to create,” James said.

James also explained the sand mandala is made to inspire creators and viewers with peace and tranquility. 

Once the mandala is created, it will then be deconstructed, aligning with Buddhist tradition to symbolize the impermanence of existence.

The sand mandala will be created over the course of three days, from Sept. 6 to 8, in the Numen Lumen Pavilion Sacred Space. The opening ceremony is at 10 a.m. on Sept. 6 and the closing ceremony is at 3 p.m. on Sept. 8. Elon community members can visit the Truitt Center throughout the three days to see the mandala progress.

Further details

Opening Ceremony: Sept. 6 at 10 a.m.

Numen Lumen (Tibetan chanting): Sept. 7 at  9:50 a.m.

Sand Mandala Creation: Sept. 7 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (with a break for lunch between noon and 1 p.m.)

Sand Mandala Creation: Sept. 8 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. (with a break for lunch between noon and 1 p.m.)

Closing Ceremony and Sand Distribution: Sept. 8 at 3 p.m.