His Holiness the Dalai Lama visited Manchester this week. In honour of his visit eight Buddhist Monks from his home in northern India are creating a Mandala. They are in residence at the Royal Northern College of Music, and that is where the Mandala is being made.
What’s this Mandala I here you cry?
It takes 5 days, with the monks working and resting in shifts to create the beautiful 2D layout of the Buddha’s celestial palace. To make the image, symbolising life and impermanence, the monks drop coloured grains of sand onto a simple wooden board. There is no plan to work from, it is all done from memory.
A little gang from St Chrysostom’s went up there on Thursday evening to see it close to completion. Everyone agreed it was a very striking creation. Following our visit to the RNCM our little band went for a pub dinner at the Lass O’ Gowrie, it was a lovely evening.
The Mandala is ceremonially destroyed from 1pm on Friday and the sand is scattered in running water.
The Dalai Lama’s message this week is one of tolerance and non-violence. The Mandala is just as eloquent an expression of the beauty and impermanence of life.