Tibetan Buddhist monks from the Gaden Shartse Monastery will create an intricate and vivid mandala (a circular sand painting) from October 7th to the 10th, from 9:30 am to 5 pm each day at the Zen Center of Syracuse’s Joshua Forman House. It is one of a series of events to mark the Zen Center’s observation of the bicentennial anniversary of the house built by Joshua Forman, founder and first president of the Village of Syracuse, at 266 West Seneca Turnpike.
Mandala, a Sanskrit word that means "circle," is a sacred diagram created in sand or paint. The sand mandala, which takes days to prepare, explodes with variation and beauty, representing the vision of a pure and harmonious universe; it is believed to bring healing and peace to those who witness it and to the surrounding land and water.
Equally as important as the creation of the artwork is its dissolution, to take place on October 10th at 4:30 pm. The wiping away of the sand mandala is itself a sacred ritual that underscores the temporary nature of all things. The sand is dispersed to the waters as an extension of blessings for healing. The monks of Gaden Shartse are committed to serving the world community by helping to spread peace, harmony, compassion, and tolerance through cultural exchange, interfaith dialog and Buddhist teachings. The event is free and open to the public.
Donations will benefit the Gaden Shartse Education Project, which is responsible for meeting the education needs of all the monastics at the Gaden Shartse monastery, now located in the Tibetan Refugee Settlement at Mundgod, India, but originally established in Tibet more than 700 years ago. The Gaden Shartse Cultural Foundation, which is sponsoring the tour, was established in the United States in 2006 to help preserve and share ancient Tibetan traditions and culture.
The Zen Center is able to host the event through support from the Gifford Foundation and the assistance of the CNY coordinator for the Gaden Shartse Cultural Foundation, Dr. Joan Coff.