Submitted by Clark College

Clark College will host a group of four Tibetan Buddhist monks from South India from Monday, January 13, through Friday, January 17, as they construct a sand mandala in Cannell Library on the college’s main campus.

All events are free and open to the public; they are co-sponsored by Clark College International Programs, Clark College Libraries, and Dharma Light Tibetan Buddhist Association of Vancouver. (Full schedule printed below.) Cannell Library is located on Clark College’s main campus at 1933 Ft. Vancouver Way in Vancouver, Washington. Maps and directions are available at the Clark College website. Anyone needing accommodation due to a disability in order to fully participate in this event should contact Clark College’s Disability Support Services Office at 360-992-2314 or 360-991-0901 (VP), prior to the event.

This project can be appreciated simply as a beautiful and intricate time-based art form. But according to Tibetan Buddhist belief, a sand mandala is meant to create a profound experience of compassion for any who attend. The positive effects of a sand mandala construction are believed to radiate out over the entire region, blessing the environment and the beings therein, in an effort for world peace. The mandala is destroyed in the closing ceremony, as a lesson in the impermanence of all phenomena. The opening and closing ceremonies will include traditional Tibetan Buddhist chanting and music. The closing ceremony will also include a procession to the Columbia River, where a small portion of the colored sand will be poured into the water as a form of blessing.

To view a video from a 2012 sand mandala construction—the last time the college hosted such an event—please visit Clark College’s YouTube channel.

Opening Ceremony

  • Monday, January 13, 12:00 – 12:30 p.m.

Mandala Construction

  • Monday, January 13, 12:30 pm – 6:30 p.m.
  • Tuesday,  January 14, 10:00 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.
  • Wednesday, January 15, 10:00 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.
  • Thursday, January 16, 10:00 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.
  • Friday, January 17, 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Public Talk

  • Tuesday, January 14, 12:00 – 1:00 p.m.

Venerable Lobsang Dawa, with the help of translator Lobsang Dhondup, will speak about the history and meaning of the sand mandala, as well as the importance of compassion in daily life.

Closing Ceremony:

  • Friday January 17, 2:00 – 3:00 p.m., followed a procession that leads to the Columbia River from 3:00 – 3:30 p.m.

About Clark College

Located in Vancouver’s Central Park and serving up to 11,500 students per quarter, Clark College is Southwest Washington’s largest public institution of higher education. The college currently offers classes at two satellite locations: one on the Washington State University Vancouver campus and one in the Columbia Tech Center in East Vancouver.

Photo credit: Clark College/Jenny Shadley

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