Students in HWS mandala painting class to display work–then destroy it
(Dec. 9, 2004) GENEVA, N.Y.–As Buddhist tradition requires, a sand mandala that has taken months to create will be destroyed in minutes, then poured into Seneca Lake.
The closing ceremony will be led by the Venerable Tenzin Yignyen, an instructor of Asian languages and cultures at Hobart and William Smith Colleges and a high-ranking monk within the Dalai Lama's personal monastery. The ceremony will be held at noon on Monday, Dec. 13, in the atrium of the L. Thomas Melly Academic Center of the Warren Hunting Smith Library. All are welcome to attend.
Tenzin, as he prefers to be called, will sweep up his intricate and colorful sand creation, scoop the grains into a pot and pour his creation into Seneca Lake. All in attendance are invited to walk with him to the lake. The action is done in recognition of life's impermanence and the Tibetan belief that man-made creations are insignificant.
Along with the collective sand work, painted mandalas by students in the Colleges' Tibetan Mandala Painting class will be on display in the library atrium from Dec. 9 through Dec. 13.
Tenzin joined the HWS faculty in 1998 to complement the staff and aide in the Colleges' pursuit of global awareness among students. In addition to creating the mandala, he is an instructor in meditation, Tibetan Buddhism and art, as well as Asian studies.