With the end of the spring semester, the Venerable Tenzin Yignyen, instructor of Asian languages and cultures, will conduct the traditional mandala dismantling ceremony as part of the conclusion of his “Tibetan Mandala Painting” course.
The ceremonial event will take place beginning at 1:30 p.m. on Monday, May 12, at the mandala’s display location, the atrium of the L. Thomas Melly Academic Center. Yignyen and students will pour the mandala’s delicately placed sand into a vase, then carry it on to Seneca Lake where Yignyen will conclude the ceremony.
Tibetan mandalas are some complex and selfless art forms in the world. They are recognized as expressions of Buddha’s enlightened mind, and represent a cosmic or spiritual dwelling place for a diety. Sand is considered the preferred medium for mandalas, due to its precision.
These mandalas are created in the tradition of selflessness and non-import, and thus they are disassembled upon completion. They are then offered to the closest body of water for the benefit of marine life, the environment, and all sentinent beings.
At the conclusion of Yignyen’s “Tibetan Mandala Painting” course, a dismantling ceremony is performed.
Yignyen is an ordained Tibetan Buddhist by the 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso. At the Colleges, he has taught Tibetan mandala painting and Tibetan Buddhism since 1998. He has work in several galleries throughout the United States, including the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles.
Yignyen says students who take the mandala course learn much more than Buddhist history, art, and philosophy. In the classes, Yignyen shares the principles for living a balanced, peaceful, compassionate, and loving life.