‘Sacred Arts of Tibet’ at Museum

The Red Deer Museum + Art Gallery is pleased to announce that Abbot Jampa Sopa and four other monks from the Dzongkar Choede Monastery will visit this month.

One of only two Alberta venues for this 2012 cross-Canada Tour, the MAG will host these international visitors Oct. 4-6th.

During the visit, the monks will construct a Tibetan sand mandala in the MAG Discovery Studio.

Over the three days, between noon and 4 p.m., the public is welcome to observe and speak with the monks in the studio, as they create the mandala and meditate with sacred chants. The mandala is a symbol of enlightened states that are in harmony with the physical universe, bringing about healing and peace.

Every symbol and image within the mandala is rich with meaning. The mandala is a tool for guiding individuals along the path to enlightenment, in this case a path based on developing the heart of compassion.

Sand mandalas are generally depicted in a tightly balanced, two-dimensional, geometric

composition and filled with vibrantly coloured sand. Using a specially-designed funnel called chakpu, sand grains are laid down layer upon layer in a contemplative practice.

Mandalas constructed from sand are unique to Tibetan Buddhism, a traditional and ancient ritual art form, layered with symbolism and tremendous spiritual significance. According to ancient teachings, sand mandalas are believed to effect purification and healing, and transmit positive energies to the environment and to the people who view them.

Abbot Jampa Sopa will do a special presentation on Oct. 4th at 7 p.m.

On Saturday, the mandala will be swept up and dispersed in the river. The public is invited to attend and accompany the procession.

For daily updates, visit the Red Deer Museum + Art Gallery’s facebook page.