Sands of Time

Buddhist monks perform an act of religious devotion

It may not be the end of the world, but it is a sign that things are bad when most people define an act of religious devotion as attending the latest televangelist superstar's arena tour. Call us old-fashioned, but remember when "seeing the light" meant something other than watching a Benny Hinn or Robert Tilton television show? Not that we're opposed to people getting out of wheelchairs, but real healing takes time, not a slap on the forehead. Taking this in mind are the Tibetan Buddhist monks from the Drepung Loseling Monastery. The group returns to Dallas to construct a mandala sand painting and be part of several related events at the Crow Collection of Asian Art and Dallas Museum of Art.

Sand painting is a unique Tantric Buddhist art of patience and a symbol of the impermanence of life. The artists, over the course of a day, draw an outline, which they'll meticulously fill in with colored sand. The result is a two-dimensional depiction of an imaginary palace filled with deities, symbols or objects representing an aspect of wisdom or a reminder of a guiding principle. Shortly after the mandala is completed, it will be swept away. Half the sand then will be given away in vials to visitors, and the other half is to be scattered in a free-flowing body of water to disperse the healing energies of the mandala.

Details

The monks of the Drepung Loseling Monastery will begin the mandala this Sunday and destruct it next Sunday. Both ceremonies begin at noon at Crow Collection of Asian Art, 2010 Flora St. Call 214-979-6430.

It's worth checking out. However, those who prefer spontaneously speaking in tongues as a sure sign of righteousness should probably stay home in front of the television.

 
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