Mandalas for Peace

From 18th to 22nd June 2003, Tibetan monks from the Drepung LoselingMonastery will be creating a peace mandala at the Victoria and AlbertMuseum. The mandala, will be made from millions of grains of colouredsand carefully dropped, grain by grain from a special funnel, whilstthe monks chant mantras for peace.
Photo © Drepung Loseling Monastery

Mandalasrepresent the different levels of wholeness, both within the world andwithin individuals. They incorporate ancient spiritual symbols and aretraditionally used for purification and reconsecrating the Earth andits inhabitants. After a closing ceremony, the monks will scoop up allthe sand and carry it in a procession to a river, where it will bethrown into the water, carrying the prayers for planetary healing outaround the world as the water flows into the ocean. Creating abeautiful image from natural materials and then returning it to natureis also a powerful symbol of the impermanence of everything, which isat the heart of Buddhist teachings. The monks, who are arriving fromDenmark, where they have been accompanying HH the Dalai Lama, will alsobe giving performances of sacred music and dance at the Mermaid Theatrebefore going on to create another mandala in Manchester Town Hall from24th to 29th June, followed by a performance.
Photo © Drepung Loseling Monastery

DrepungLoseling, near Lhasa in Tibet, was one of the largest monasteries withthousands of monks. Following the Chinese Communist invasion of Tibetin 1959, when many monasteries were closed and destroyed, about 250monks escaped to India where they rebuilt Drepung Loseling and carriedon the tradition. There are now 2,500 monks. A group of ten monkstravel around the world creating mandalas and performing sacred musicand dance. They are supported by Buddhist actor, Richard Gere. Theyhave created over 100 mandalas in US museums, often attracting hugenumbers of visitors and have performed their multi-phonic singing withleading Western musicians including Paul Simon and Philip Glass. Themonks have given many performances of sacred music and dance includingCarnegie Hall, which was a sell-out
Photo © Drepung Loseling Monastery

Theirintention is to make a contribution to world peace as well as raisingawareness of the endangered Tibetan civilisation. They are also raisingsupport for the Tibetan refugee community in India and there is asponsorship scheme for supporting monks through their training.
FURTHER INFORMATION : London, Melanie ñ Tel: 07932 608273 Manchester, Camilla ñ Tel: 07966 422310
Tickets for the performances: Ticketmaster ñ Tel: 0870 060 1787

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