Monks’ sand mandala creation keys

Sacred work of art is just one of several events

A group of five Tibetan Buddhist monks, newly arrived from South India, are on a three-month tour of the West Coast to construct sand mandalas, also known as sand paintings. Their tour is called “Sacred Tibetan Art — The Sand Mandala: Creating a Picture of Universal Compassion.” The monks will be constructing the mandala at the Hood River Library Aug.7-10.

This project can be appreciated simply as a piece of “time-based art.” But, according to Tibetan Buddhist belief, the creation of a sand mandala is meant to create a profound experience of compassion. The positive effects of a sand mandala are believed to radiate out over an entire region, blessing the environment and the beings therein, as an effort for world peace. Once created, the sand mandala is destroyed in the closing ceremony, as a lesson in the impermanence of all life.

The opening and closing ceremonies include traditional Tibetan Buddhist chanting and music. The closing ceremony will include a procession to the Columbia River, weather permitting.

This event is free to the public; all ages are welcome to attend.

The Monks of Drepung Loseling Phukhang Monastery will build this traditional Tibetan Buddhist artwork in the Hood River Library reading room, starting with an opening ceremony Aug. 7 at 10.30 a.m.

The closing ceremony will be Aug. 11, 4 p.m.

For more information contact the Library District at 541-386-2535 or info@hoodriverlibrary.org, or visit http://hoodriverli-brary.org.

For more information about Monks of Drepung Loseling Phukhang Monastery and their work, contact the Shakyamuni Tibetan Buddhist Center in Portland at 503-788-6465 or visit http://stbcport-land.wordpress.org.

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Also at the library this week:

n Teen Book exchange in the library meeting room, Aug. 9 at 2 p.m.; bring a book you’ve finished and swap it for someone else’s.; grades 6-12 are welcome.

n Reptile Man at Hood River Library, 2 p.m. Friday, Aug. 10.

Richard Ritchey and his variety of snakes, lizards and turtles will appeal to young and old. (Sponsored by Friends of the Library.)

n Looking ahead: Grades 6-12 are invited to “Camping in the Forbidden Forest,” a Hood River Library lock-in, with games, crafts, activities, music and snacks, 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. Aug. 24-25.

Registration is limited to the first 18 teens; parental permission slips are available at the library.

n Bilingual storytime/LaHora de Cuentos Bilingue, 5 p.m. on Fridays/Viernes.

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