Sand Mandala at Art Prize

Buddhist monk Geshe Ngarampa Thupten Tsondu (Tashi) will be creating a Sand Mandala for Art Prize this year, to be exhibited at Grand Central Market and Deli, 57 Monroe Center NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49503.

Art Prize runs between September 22, and October 10, 2010. Exhibits are located throughout the city of Grand Rapids.

Artist Bio:
Venerable Gyudmed Ngarampa Thupten Tsondu (Tashi) was born in Tibet but fled to India in 1959 to seek political asylum along with his parents and the Dalai Lama. At age 13 he entered Gyudmed Tantric University to become a monk according to his wishes. In 1995 he was given a dialectic exam in front of 400 monks which resulted in the Geshe Ngarampa degree, a Ph.D. in Tibetan Tantric Buddhism.

He has visited the USA, Canada, Switzerland, England, Mongolia, Japan, Vietnam, Thailand, Nepal and India and has taught ritual chanting, sand mandala construction and dialectic debate to monks at the Gyudmed Tantric, Gaden Jangtse and Drepung Gomang Monasteries of India and the Pethub Stengeyling and Gyud Monasteries of Mongolia. Tashi also served as chief administrator of Gyudmed Tantric University and wrote a book on tantric ritual.

Venerable Gyudmed Ngarampa Thupten Tsondu (Tashi) is currently a Buddhist spiritual teacher in Florida.

About the work
Title: The Sacred Art of Sand Mandala
Art form: 3-D, Performance
Medium: colored sand on wood
Year created: Work not created yet
Description of work: ‘Mandala’ means ‘cosmogram’ in sanskrit and the painting of mandalas with sand is a Tibetan Buddhist art thought to have originated in India during the middle ages. In Tibetan ‘dul-tson-kyil-khor’ means ‘mandala of colored powders’. The most common substance used is colored sand, ground from stone.

Sand mandalas are created whenever a need for healing of the environment and living beings is felt and there are different types, each with different lessons to teach and blessings to confer. Most mandalas contain a host of deities; symbolic archetypes of the landscape of the mind. In Tibetan Buddhism mandalas are imaginary palaces contemplated during meditation.

When finished, to symbolize the impermanence of all that exists, the colored sands are swept up and poured into a nearby river or stream where the waters carry the healing energies throughout the world.

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