Thursday, November 4, 2010
These monks are visiting Pasadena from the Drepung Loseling Phukhang Khangtsen monastery in southern India. (I just love that a monastery has a website.) The monastery was founded 500 years ago in Tibet, but when the Chinese occupied Tibet, as you may know, the Dalai Lama and his followers were forced to relocate their operations.
The Museum's website says, "...sand mandalas depict the world in its divine form, representing a map by which the ordinary human mind is transformed into the enlightened mind." Here, two of the visiting monks use tapered metal tubes to place colored sand grains onto the mandala. When they're finished with one color, they tap the excess out of the tube and it sounds like clinking your fork against your plate.
These guys are experts. The monastery didn't send the new kids on this job. You can see the outline on the table, a blueprint of where this work is headed.
If you're as fascinated by this arcane art form as I am, you can watch it in action for free at the Pacific Asia Museum, every day this week and only this week, from 10am-3:30pm. I missed the opening ceremony yesterday morning. The closing will be Sunday, when this ethereal work will be swept away at 2pm.
And a happy birthday to my brother Stuart! I don't think he checks here, but I like to say it anyway.