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Medicine Buddha Sand Mandala


For immediate release



The Whangarei Art Museum - Te Manawa Toi is honoured to be hosting Medicine Buddha Sand Mandala where the community will be given the opportunity to witness Tibetan monks Ven. Geshe Jamyang Sherab and Ven. Karma Gyasey create an exquisite sand mandala over a period of two weeks. Born in Tibet these monks became refugees upon choosing to leave their home country and families in order to study at the Sera Je Monastery in South India. Together they have created many sand mandalas in New Zealand.

A sand mandala is a two dimensional representation of an enlightened being’s place of residence and everything that is contained within it. The mandala is an expression of the state of complete enlightenment and is used as an aid to meditation. Witnessing a mandala creates a great store of positive energy and makes one’s mind peaceful and clear. Understanding it completely means understanding the whole path to enlightenment. Each part of the mandala is rich in symbolism and reminds the meditator of the insights, states of mind and feelings he or she is trying to accomplish.

The exhibition begins with an opening ceremony on the 26th of September to cleanse the space and to initiate the beginning of the mandala itself viewers will be able to witness the creation of the mandala first hand over a period of two weeks after which the mandala will remain on display alongside an exhibition of Thanka paintings for contemplation and meditation.

IMAGE CREDIT: Jam Tse Dhargyey Ling Tibetan Buddhist Centre, Whangarei

On the 4th of December a dissolution ceremony will take place at the water’s edge of the Town Basin Sculpture Walk. The delicate and fragile sand mandala which is the result of many hours of work will be ‘destroyed’ and poured into the river as an offering to the nagas - water spirits of great wealth who are said to inhabit water. The offering is made with the prayer that the place where the mandala was created and it’s surroundings, as well as all beings who live there may enjoy peace, prosperity and good health. The dissolution of the mandala is meant to awaken in the mind the understanding of impermanence and non-attachment.

Public Programme Information

Opening Ceremony: Monday 26th Sep – 4.30pm

Closing Ceremony: Sunday 4th Dec – 10.30am

The closing ceremony will be followed by a Community Pot-Luck lunch at 12.30pm.

Attendees to either or both ceremonies need to bring cushions and blankets to sit on. During the closing ceremony the community can bring flower-heads to be used as offerings to the nagas. The exhibition is accompanied by a series of public talks. Please see the website for more info.

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