Tibetan monks create sand mandala

Once again, Lafayette [Indiana] is opening its heart to Buddhist monks touring America.

Eight monks started making a sacred sand mandala Thursday and will continue through next week at the Tippecanoe Arts Federation.

During the opening ceremony Thursday, the monks chanted a blessing for the colored sand. A horn, cymbal, drum and handbell were used to emphasize parts of the 15-minute ceremony.

Through a translator, Lobsang Dhondup explained the sand mandala, which is a Buddhist tradition using geometric designs inside a circle. The mandala is used for meditation and contains several Buddhist doctrines.

“The mandala is indispensable for the practice of Buddhism,” Dhondup said. “This is one of our spiritual exercises.”

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