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Tibetan Monks Travel To Display Art

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Tibetan Monks Travel To Display Art

Major Copeland, Writer

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This past month in Topeka Kansas, eight Tibetan monks traveled to the First Congressional Church to demonstrate their sand mandalas. These works of art are constructed by small precision tools.

These tools are made of a specific metal and they are scraped together to dispense the sand slowly into the correct section of the mandala.

Different colored sand granules are used to create images that mean something special to the those who are creating them. Each mandala takes weeks to construct due to the amount of time it takes to make each design and the amount of  intricate work put into the design.

The monks were in Topeka for one week making the mandalas. They use these mandalas to symbolize peace and help spread their teachings.

These monks were from the Drepung Gomang Monastery in south India.

Every design signifies a different manifestation of peace and well being through the teachings of the Buddhist. There are several plain representations of peace such as the dove.  After the monks have finished their work of art they begin the destruction process.

Even the process of dismembering the mandala is spiritual and artistic. Each individual section, or block of the mandala is taken away one by one.

It is then dumped in a river during a spiritual ritual to signify the spreading of peace to others around the world.

The idea is that the sand will touch the lives of others down the river. Here in Topeka they did this ritual down at the Kansas River.

On the final day of the sand mandala construction, the Pastor, Tobias Schlingensiepen hosted a Tibetan dinner that evening. This feast offered all of the common foods that the monks eat in their day to day lives.

They meal included boiled potatoes, bread, cabbage, and several different meats. Everyone was invited to come and eat with the monks and learn more about the culture from where they are from.

When the monks were visiting Topeka many citizens were very welcoming to them. When preparing for the feast the monks had to go to Dillon’s to get the supplies they needed.

While there many people came up to them and welcomed them to Topeka and wished them safe travels.

Other than the feast and the mandalas, the monks also made different clothing garments to sell to help raise money for their Monastery back in India.

These garments included scarves, bags and blankets. Each piece had been made by hand and had a unique design.

They also sold jewelry, amulets and other smaller gadgets. These products were a big hit with those who visited the church.

This event was free to the public. Anyone who was interested would come and witness the intricacy of the art ior enjoy a meal.
It was also an opportunity for the monks to visit and experience a new unique culture that they would never have gotten the chance to explore otherwise.

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About the Writer
Major Copeland, Page Design/Photographer/Writer

I’m Major Copeland, and  I am a writer on the Newspaper Staff.  I love writing and photography. In my free time, if I’m not writing, I’m taking...

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Tibetan Monks Travel To Display Art