Visiting Buddhist Monks Create Contemplative Art
March 13, 2009
In cooperation with the Rime Buddhist Center, the Kansas City Public Library welcomes a touring group of Buddhist monks from the Drepung Gomang Monastery in India for Contemplative Art, a weeklong visit focused on the construction of a sand mandala that starts on Sunday, March 29, at 2 p.m. in Kirk Hall at the Central Library, 14 W. 10th St.
A sand mandala is an ancient art form of Tibetan Buddhism that replaces paints with millions of grains of colored sand in creating a three-dimensional representation of the world in its divine form, which also serves as a map toward enlightenment.
The sand mandala construction will be preceded by an opening ceremony at 2 p.m. on Sunday, March 29, in Kirk Hall – during which the visiting monks will consecrate the site by chanting mantras and employing horns and other musical instruments.
The visiting monks will continue building the Chenrezig (Compassion) mandala every day from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. throughout the week, allowing for informal conversation and socializing. Drepung Gomang monks will also be selling unique hand-crafted Buddhist charms, with proceeds supporting their worldwide travels.
A closing ceremony at 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 4, in Kirk Hall will include the free distribution of the blessed sand used in the mandala construction.
Admission is free for all activities surrounding this exhibit.
Drepung Monastery was founded in 1416 near Lhasa, the capital of Tibet. In 1959, before the Chinese invasion, Drepung Monastery had more than 10,000 monks. In 1969, 62 of the surviving Gomang monks were given 42 acres of land in Mundgod, south India. There they started to rebuild Drepung Gomang Monastery in its present location. Today more than 1,700 monks live on these premises.
The Rime Buddhist Center is a non-sectarian Tibetan Buddhist center dedicated to the cultivation of wisdom and compassion as well as promoting a harmonious relationship of understanding between both Tibetans and Westerners.