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Tibetan Buddhist Monks Teach Peace, Unity At Redding Library Program

During this  five-day special event, Tibetan Buddhist monks will create a World Peace Mandala, an age-old ritual sand art form that reflects one of the most profound tenets in Buddhism—impermanence.
During this five-day special event, Tibetan Buddhist monks will create a World Peace Mandala, an age-old ritual sand art form that reflects one of the most profound tenets in Buddhism—impermanence. Photo Credit: contributed

REDDING, Conn. -- The Hermes Art Series will present World Peace Mandala at the Mark Twain Library in Redding from Nov. 9 -13.

During this five-day special event, Tibetan Buddhist monks will create a World Peace Mandala, an age-old ritual sand art form that reflects one of the most profound tenets in Buddhism — impermanence, according to a release from the Mark Twain Library.

The mandala is being created to raise awareness and funds for the Sera Mahayana Monastic University, one of the greatest seats of learning in Tibetan Buddhism.

"We are thrilled to be hosting such a unique event at the Mark Twain Library,” said Emily d’Aulaire, a member of the Hermes Executive Committee. “We think this is a wonderful opportunity to learn about -- and appreciate -- an ancient form of art.”

Using a metal funnel, the monks patiently and meticulously place millions of grains of brightly colored sand to form intricate geometric designs that contain ancient, spiritual symbols.

The World Peace Mandala includes symbols from many different religions and is intended as an offering of peace and unity, the release said.

The monks will be creating the mandala during regular library hours, with a break for lunch between 1 and 2 p.m.

People are encouraged to drop in at the library to watch the monks work on the mandala. There will also be several special programs held during the five-day creation of the mandala, which will be held in the library’s rotunda.

The monks will begin with an opening ceremony Wednesday, Nov. 9, at 10 a.m., and Saturday, Nov. 12, at 11 a.m., there will be a special program for children. Registration is required for this program. Contact the library at 203-938-2545 for registration information.

Also on Nov. 12, Leslie Freyberg, a local yoga teacher and Sanskrit scholar, will perform a few Vedic chants. Details will be announced soon.

On Sunday, Nov. 13, a closing dissolution ceremony will be held when the mandala will be swept away and ritually returned to nature.

An Allen and Helen Hermes Art program, this event is brought to the library by Redding’s Tibetan Buddhist Center of Universal Peace.

The library is at 439 Redding Road, Redding.

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