A group of Buddhist monks from the Drepung Loseling Monastery have been creating a sand mandala in the lobby of the Iowa State Memorial Union this week.
I spent a bit of time watching them work and found it rather calming. The sands of the mandala will be dispersed shortly after it is completed in a ceremony that reminds the participants of the impermanence of life. It is always good for us humans to be reminded that life is short, but I also think it is good for conservators to be reminded that not everything, no matter how beautiful or meaningful, is meant to be saved.
If you are on campus this morning, the schedule for the day is:
Mandala Completion, 10-11am
View Completed Mandala, 11am-12pm
Closing Ceremony, 12-12:45pm
Dispersal of the Sand, 12:45pm
This program is being sponsored by the Student Union Board and they have posted more photos and further information at this link. The Iowa State Daily newspaper also ran an article that can be found here.