Tibetan Monks to Create Intricate Buddhist Sand Mandala at Hancock

The monks will be on campus Feb. 11-14

Tibetan MonksFEBRUARY 4, 2019--Allan Hancock College’s Ann Foxworthy Gallery will once again host the Tibetan Monks from the Drepung Gomang Monastery Feb. 11-14 as they create an elaborate and intricate medicine buddha mandala out of colored sand.

Visitors from the community are invited to come to the gallery throughout the week to see the mandala as it is created. Events will also take place throughout the community, including at the Santa Maria Public Library, the Santa Maria Valley Discovery Museum and CORE Winery.

The college first hosted the monks in 2013. This will be the fourth time the monks have created a sand mandala for Hancock.

 “It’s an honor to host the Drepung Gomang Monks,” said Laura-Susan Thomas, director of the gallery. “It’s an incredible thing to see and experience, watching the mindfulness and patience of the monks as they focus and lovingly place each grain of sand.”

Renowned for the sacred art of sand mandala construction, the monks will travel from a monastery located in an exiled Tibetan community in Southern India. The monks will create the medicine mandala - representing the residence of Medicine Buddhas - in the center of the gallery floor. Following the opening ceremony on Monday, Feb. 11 at 10 a.m., the monks will draw out guidelines for the mandala on a flat platform, and begin filling in the intricate design using long metal funnels called chak-pur to painstakingly lay down millions of grains of colored sand.

Following its completion, the mandala will ritualistically destroyed during a closing ceremony taking place on Thursday, Feb. 14 at 2 p.m.

“I feel the closing ceremony helps us to see the beauty in our everyday process and the impermanence of life,” said Thomas. “It helps us focus and appreciate the path we take throughout our days.”

In addition to the creation of the mandala, the monks will be performing cultural rituals and selling Tibetan handicrafts during their four-day visit.

A beautiful addition to the Drepung Gomang Monks’ visit, the photography of artist and photographer Theresa Gingras will be also be adorning the gallery walls surrounding the monks as they work. On display will be stunning images from her travels, including images of monks from Southeast Asia.

The events of the week are free and open to the public. The schedule of events can be found on the Ann Foxworthy gallery website by visiting www.hancockcollege.edu/gallery. For more information please contact Laura-Susan Thomas, Ann Foxworthy Gallery Director at 1-805-922-6966 ext. 3465 or email laura.thomas@hancockcollege.edu.

A schedule of events is also listed below:

Allan Hancock College Santa Maria Campus Schedule and Events

Monday, Feb. 11
Official opening ceremony for the mandala creation at the Ann Foxworthy Gallery, 10 a.m.

Monday, Feb. 11 - Wednesday, Feb. 13
Daily mandala viewing at the Ann Foxworthy Gallery, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Daily closing and blessing ceremony, 4 - 4:30 p.m.

Wednesday, Feb. 13
Monks visit Student Health Services for Mindfulness Series in G106A, 12-1:30 p.m.

Thursday, Feb. 14
Mandala viewing at the Ann Foxworthy Gallery, 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Official closing ceremony, 2 p.m.

Community Schedule and Events

Monday, Feb. 11
Monks visit the Santa Maria Public Library, 3 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.
421 S. McClelland Street, Santa Maria, CA
For more information, contact the Santa Maria Library, 1-805-925-0994

Tuesday, Feb. 12
Monks visit the Santa Maria Valley Discovery Museum, 11 - 11:45 a.m.
705 S. McClelland Street, Santa Maria, CA
For more information, contact the Santa Maria Valley Discovery Museum, 805-928-8414

Thursday, Feb. 14
Monks’ cultural performance at the CORE Winery, 7- 8:30 p.m.
Orcutt Tasting Room, 105 W Clark Ave. Old Orcutt, CA
For more information, contact 1-805-937-1600

-AHC-

Caption: Tibetan Monks from the Drepung Gomang Monastery will visit Allan Hancock College to create an intricate Medicine Buddha sand mandala.

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Last Modified Feb 4, 2019