When I walked into work on Friday, three Tibetan monks were working on a sand mandala in the main lobby. I know this seems really random, but the Dalai Lama came to speak on campus so I'd seen monks in red all over for the past couple of days. None of that prepared me for how amazing sand mandalas are.
Basically, the monks put colored sand into one end of these metal stick things, and then quickly rub the stick's metal ridges with another stick so that the sand comes out slowly. Then, slowly but surely, a beautiful sand mandala is made with vibrant colors and stunningly intricate designs. The best/worst part about these mandalas is that they can blow away at any moment. All of the sand is loose and if a gust of wind came into the building, the piece would be destroyed. As sad as this sounds, the pieces were made to be ephemeral because they symbolize "Buddhist doctrinal belief in the transitory nature of material life."
The piece has expanded even further since I took these pictures and it's so amazing. So much patience, dedication and creativity for something so beautiful.
P.S. -This week, I was featured at Janelle's for Magic Monday and wrote about cliff jumping!