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Randolph College to Host Tibetan Monks Oct. 24-28

The monks, who are from Tashikyl, a Tibetan Buddhist monastery in Dehra Dun, India, will create a Medicine Buddha sand mandala

10/20/2011 2:58:28 PM


LYNCHBURG–Seven Buddhist monks from India will share the sacred, healing art of colorful sand painting at Randolph College Oct. 24-28.

Beginning Monday, Oct. 24, the monks, who are from Tashikyl, a Tibetan Buddhist monastery in Dehra Dun, India, will create a Medicine Buddha sand mandala in the College’s Houston Memorial Chapel. The chapel will be open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. each day for members of the Randolph community and the general public to view the creation of the sacred art.

The monks will live in a residence hall during their stay and will interact with faculty, staff, and students. Several classes will view the monks during the creation of the mandala and students from the College’s preschool are also scheduled to visit.

The seven monks are currently engaged in a U.S. tour, hosted by a Buddhist cultural center in Indiana. From September through November, they are traveling the country to share their culture and their religion through workshops and demonstration programs.

During the Randolph visit, the monks will demonstrate the mandala, a sacred Tibetan Buddhist art form that creates a beautiful five-foot square painting from colorful sand. Specifically, they will create a Medicine Buddha mandala, which promises healing.

The opening ceremony will be held Monday, October 24, at 12:40 p.m. The monks will consecrate the chapel using chanting and the music from sacred horns. Then they will begin the exacting task of forming the detailed artwork with millions of grains of sand.

Once the artwork is completed, a closing ceremony will be held at 3 p.m. Friday, October 28. During the closing ceremony, the monks will consecrate the mandala and then dismantle it–symbolizing the impermanence of all that exists. They will sweep up the colorful sand and pour it into the James River, allowing the healing energy to be carried through water to the rest of the world.

Some of the sand from the mandala made at Randolph College will be saved so the monks can carry it and its healing energy the following week when they participate in the Aids Walk in Washington, D.C.

For more information, please see

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CONTACT: Brenda Edson, Director of College Relations


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