Thought I should finally get around to posting pictures of the Tibetan sand mandala thing that took place this weekend. Had some monks from Drepung Loseling Monastery in India in town for a show. The sand mandala started on Thursday, we went to see how it was going on Friday, there was a 'Mystical Arts of Tibet' show on Saturday night that we went to, then I went to the closing ceremony on Sunday when they destroy the mandala.
The show was fantastic. I was really hoping for some cultural Tibetan music and dance, but it was all monastic. Still really neat, and I love their chanting, so it was still great. I hadn't seen any monastic dancing while I was in China, so that was new for me! They had the snow lion dance too, which was fantastic, I've always wanted to see it! It was adorable. I want one ;) I was really hoping that my parents would see some of the awesome Tibetan dancing though. I don't think my dad enjoyed himself at all, too much chanting for him, and I think my mom only enjoyed it for the experience. If I can ever get them to go to Tibet or China though, they'll see some of the awesome Tibetan dancing and singing.
Anyway, onto the pics!
First is the picture I took of them working on it when I saw it on Friday. So impressive how they do it. So painstakingly careful and exact. Very impressive. The finished product was absolutely stunning! So detailed and so colourful! It is the mandala of compassion :) Read about mandalas HERE and Avalokitesvara, or Guan Yin, the bodhisattva of compassion, incarnated in HH Dalai Lama HERE.
Before the closing ceremony, the monks had a long discussion on the symbolism of the different levels of the mandala. It was very detailed, you can probably find it on the link I provided (Wikipedia :P ). And if you don't know anything about sand mandalas, they destroy them at the end. A symbol of the impermenance of everything. I thought it was very powerful to watch them destroy it. They passed out the sand to the people who were there and did a procession to the river/bay nearby to throw the rest into the water, to distribute it to the rest of the world. I had to miss that part as I was meeting my parents and aunt and uncle for dinner, but going to the ceremony was definitely worth it.