Buddhist Monks Come to Maplewood for Mandala Project

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The following is from the Maplewood Township Committee and the Dept. of Recreation and Cultural Affairs.

The Maplewood Township Committee and Department of Recreation and Cultural Affairs is excited to announce the Maplewood Mandala Project. Beginning Monday, August 10 through Saturday, August 15, 2015, Buddhist monks from the Drepung Loseling Monastery in Tibet will be in residence in Maplewood, NJ to create a magnificent work of sand art in the Great Hall at The Woodland, located at 60 Woodland Road in Maplewood NJ.

Mandala close upWorking up to eight hours per day, the monks lay millions of grains of colored sand into large geometric pattern called a mandala, one painstaking grain at a time. The public is invited free of charge to observe this mesmerizing feat of artistry and concentration which ranks among the most unique and exquisite traditions of Tantric Buddhism.

Township Committee member Jerry Ryan states “we are extremely excited to offer this rare cultural experience to the Maplewood/South Orange community.” He noted that “visitors from around the State and beyond who come for this special event will also have a chance to enjoy the unique charm Maplewood has to offer.”

Those interested in volunteering or simply hearing more details about the Project are invited to attend a public meeting:

Mandala Planning Session Thursday, May 28 at 7:30 pm
The Woodland 60 Woodland Rd. Maplewood

The monks of Drepung Loseling Monastery have created mandalas in museums, art centers and universities around the world, including such prestigious institutions as The Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago, Victoria and Albert Museum in London, and The Smithsonian Sackler Gallery. Recently, the construction of a mandala sand painting was prominently featured on Netfix’s popular series House of Cards.


Volunteer Opportunities

The support of the community and participation of volunteers will be essential to the success of the Maplewood Mandala Project.

Volunteers are needed to assist with all aspects of the weeklong event including:

    • Marketing
    • Fundraising
    • Sponsorship
    • Audio and video production
    • Lighting design
    • Venue staging

Steering Committee

A steering committee consisting of 5 to 10 members will be formed to oversee the Mandala Project. Interested parties should attend the planning session and or contact the Cultural Affairs Coordinator

A Monk in the Guest Room

An exciting opportunity exists for families in Maplewood and South Orange to house one or more of the monks in their home for the duration of their stay. Specific guidelines will be discussed at the planning session and are available upon request.

Process and Schedule

The residency begins the evening of August 10th with an Opening Ceremony involving chants, music, and mantra recitation. Over the next four days, the monks will create the mandala using small metal funnels called a chakpurs which allow the sand to trickle like water. Mandala construction will be scheduled for varying hours throughout the week, mornings, afternoons and evenings.

Scheduled to be completed the afternoon of August 15, the mandala will be dismantled in an elaborate Closing Ceremony during which the sand is swept up as a “metaphor for the impermanence of life.” This will be followed by a processional to the nearby Rahway River where the remaining sand will be poured into the water to “spread healing blessing throughout the world”.

CNN – https://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2010/06/02/a-mandala-in-minutes/


For more information, visit The Woodland’s website.

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