Tibetan Monks Visit Buena Vista University

In addition to creating an intricate sand mandala throughout the week, the monks interacted with students by eating with them during meal times, hosting ACES events, and visiting classes.

A group of Tibetan monks from the Gaden Shartse Monastery in southern India visited Buena Vista University Oct. 30 – Nov. 3. During their visit, they educated others about their culture and shared an artistic tradition with the community by constructing a sand mandala throughout the week.

The mandala tradition began with an opening ceremony, in which the site was blessed before an outline of a mandala was drawn on a wooden platform and colored sands were laid down.

Once it was complete, the mandala was destroyed during a closing ceremony, symbolizing the fleeting nature of life. The sands were swept up and placed in an urn. Half was distributed to spectators and the remainder was deposited into the waters of Storm Lake.