This fall the Hammer Museum welcomed the return of four highly respected Tibetan Buddhist monks—Venerable Gelong Kalsang Rinpoche, Venerable Lama Nawang Thogmed, Lama Nawang Samten Lhundrup, and Lama Dorji Sherpa—as they created an elaborate sand mandala in the Lobby Gallery. The program, presented in partnership with Ari Bhöd, the American Foundation for Tibetan Cultural Preservation, featured the construction of a sacred sand painting embodying compassion. Over the course of two weeks, millions of grains of colored sand were sprinkled carefully on a flat surface, following precise and ancient instructions passed down over thousands of years. Once the last grains of sand were placed, the entire sand painting was swept up in a final display of impermanence. This video follows the lamas as they perform final prayers over the mandala and invite museum visitors to join them in bringing the collected sand to the ocean, offering it into the waves as a blessing.


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