Monks to share mandala process

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Monks work on a mandala sand painting. 

Monks work on a mandala sand painting.

A Buddhist  monk works on a mandala sand painting. Monks from the Drepung Loseling Monastery will be at Saint Joseph’s College next week working on a similar display that will be open to the public.

STANDISH — A group of Tibetan Buddhist monks will be on Saint Joseph’s College campus next week to create a traditional sand- painted mandala, a process that will be open to the public.

The monks from the Drepung Loseling Monastery will be at the college Monday, Oct. 16, through Thursday, Oct. 19, working to create the mandala – a form of of Tantric Buddhist art which is meant to represent the universe.

The intricate mandala constructed from colored sand will be made in the college’s Stone Barn across Route 35 from the main section of campus.

There will be an opening ceremony on Monday at 1 p.m. and a closing ceremony on Thursday at 5 p.m.

A press release from the college says that the public is welcome to watch the process after the opening ceremony until 6 p.m., Tuesday and Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Thursday from 10 a.m. up until the closing ceremony. Groups of 10 or more are asked to reserve space ahead of time by emailing vpmission@sjcme.edu.

“As Maine’s Catholic liberal arts college in the Mercy tradition, it will be an honor to extend our hospitality to the monks from Drepung Loseling Monastery and to welcome them to our community,” said Michael Sanderl, the school’s Vice President and Chief Sponsorship and Mission Integration Officer. “Members of the public and our students will benefit greatly from meeting them and learning about their spiritual tradition.”

This is especially significant for us as this event is the first of our Center for Faith and Spirituality at Saint Joseph’s College,” Sanderl added.

“The upcoming presence of Buddhist monks on our campus will be an enriching interreligious and intercultural experience,” said Sister Marilyn Sunderman, RSM, Ph.D. and Professor of Theology at the college. “It will be wonderful to watch a mandala being brought to life and then deconstructed, all of which is sacred activity.”

Matt Junker can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 123 or mjunker@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @MattJunker.

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