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Tibetan monks bring peace to campus

Sitting cross-legged on top of a cobalt-blue board—their heads almost touching in concentration—three Tibetan monks carefully apply streams of colored sand to create a ritualistic sand mandala in the Center for Chicago Programs.

Campus visitors can watch the colorful medallion take shape from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. through Friday, Oct. 3.

“The sand mandala ritual really is done as a rite of purification,” Associate Professor of Religion and Asian Studies Cathy Benton said.

This marks the first time a Buddhist sand mandala has been created at the College.

“You don’t get a chance to see this very often,” Benton said.

The visiting monks from Drepung Gomang Monastery in South India will conduct a ritual destruction closing ceremony at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 4, in which the mandala’s colored sand will be removed in a specific order and walked to Forest Park Beach, where it will be released into Lake Michigan and back into nature.

Click here to read more about the events.