Mandala of Compassion

Posted on July 13, 2007 By

Circle of Compassion Circle of Peace
Directed and Edited by Lisa Niedermeyer: “Tibetan nuns from the Keydong nunnery in Katmandu create a sand mandala at Trinity College. Hartford, CT 2005.”

Sand mandalas are a traditional Tibetan Buddhist practice, normally undertaken by a team of Buddhist monks or nuns, and ritually constructed over a period of days or even weeks. An entire mandala is painstakingly constructed out of dyed sand. Once the closing ceremonies have been completed, the mandala is systematically destroyed, and the sand released to the world, bestowing blessings upon all as the sand returns to nature. The creative process, and the mandala itself, are opportunities for reflection and meditation, and each specific mandala has its own message to teach and blessings to confer. The dismantling of the completed mandala symbolizes the impermanence of life.

The mandala being constructed in the video is that of Chenrezig (Avalokiteshvara / Kuan-yin ), the Bodhisattva of Compassion. According to legend, Chenrezig vowed not to rest until he had liberated all beings in all the realms of suffering. Chenrezig is considered the patron Bodhisattva of Tibet, and his well-known mantra Om Mani Padme Hum, is said to contain all the teachings of the Buddha. It is believed that whenever we feel love or compassion for anyone or any part of the natural world, we experience our connection with Chenrezig.



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