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The Life and Death of a Sand Mandala

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Uploaded on Apr 13, 2007

Filmed April 10th 2007, at a Buddhist shrine in Chichester, this video tells the story of a sand painting born only the day before.

In Tibetan Buddhist tradition, the Mandala is brought to an end, honouring the Buddhas teaching of 'impermanence' : that all things arise and fade away - that all things are temporary in nature.

In the video you will see many members of the local and visiting Tibetan Buddhist commuity contributing to the growth of the mandala, including the special guest Dr Akong Tulku Rinpoche.

Many thanks to David Mackenzie-Dewhirst for his kind help and guidance in making the mandala, and should anyone like to enquire further about sand mandalas or other therapeutic artforms he practices, he can be contacted at:

www.artmatters.nhs.uk

The word Mandala is sanskrit and litterally means 'Circle' & 'Center', it suggests the notion that any centre is tied to it's circumferance, and that any circumferance is always determined by it's center, together they represent a wholeness.
The Making Of The Mandala:
Traditionally, the sand for madalas is made by crushing precious and semi-precious stones such as coral and turquoise amber etc, but this is no longer done. The sand is dyed using vegetable dyes or opaque tempera or acrylics, it is applied to the mandala disc (base) with a narrow metal funnel called a 'chakpu', which is tapped against to cause sufficient vibration for grains of sand to trickle out of its end. Stray grains of sand are moved back into place with small brushes, no adhesives are used to maintain the position of the sand.

Mandala's to Promote Health & Healing:
There has been medical research to show that the bodies immune system and innate healing ability are enhanced when we are relaxed, creativity appears to trigger the bodies relaxation response, promoting one's own health and healing and increasing stress reduction.
Finally:

In the dismantling of the mandala one should remain in the same relaxed and meditative state of mind, as in its creation. Mandala's can help us to understand that all things are impermanent and exist only in relation to, and in independence on other things.

The Kagyu tradition is one of the four main schools of Tibetan Buddhism. It is reknowned for its emphasis on meditation as embodied by such great masters as Marpa, Milarepa and Gampopa, whose example inspired people throughout Tibet.

The supreme head of the Kagyu lineage is the Karmapa.
Kagyu Samye Dzong London is a branch of Kagyu Samye Ling Monastery in Scotland, a Buddhist Centre which was established in 1967 and now has branches worldwide. Kagyu Samye Dzong London is under the direct guidance of Dr. Akong Tulku Rinpoche and Ven.Lama Yeshe Losal, whose lives and activity are an endless source of inspiration for the thousands of people who come into contact with them every year. They are known for their tireless efforts in preserving the purity of the Buddha's teachings, and the Kagyu lineage in particular and they visit Kagyu Samye Dzong London regularly giving teachings, guidance and empowerments. The day to day guidance of the centre is by Lama Zangmo.

More information here:
http://london.samye.org/london/

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