New York

Kalachakra Sand Mandala

The Museum of Natural History

A sublime form of wisdom was offered this past summer to the thousands visiting the Museum of Natural History in New York, who witnessed the first public presentation of a centuries-old Buddhist tradition of mandala-making. Working steadily for six weeks, three Tibetan monks from the Namgyl Monastery created an intricately detailed sand mandala, one grain of sand at a time. The Kalachakra, or “Wheel of Time,” mandala conveys a wisdom, a way of seeing things, that couldn’t be a more appropriate and timely lesson to our culture. Its beauty, order, and meaning convey both esthetic and spiritual concerns with a oneness of purpose and value that has all but disappeared from Western art. The mandala is a marriage of ornament, symbol, and design, bound together in poetic union. This particular mandala represents a god with four faces and 24 arms who opposes violence and is spiritually dedicated

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