Tibetan sand mandala in progress in Fayetteville this week

An outline of the sand mandala monks are currently working on at Fayettechill this week

Photo: Courtesy, Fayettechill

It’s not every day you can see Tibetan monks in Fayetteville painstakingly arranging grains of colorful sand in an intricate pattern on a table inside a Dickson Street business.

As it happens, however, you can see exactly that this week.

The monks are in town to create a sand mandala at Fayettechill’s Basecamp store on Dickson Street as part of the company’s Tibetan Tees project, an initiative created to raise funds for “social, cultural, and financial benefit” of Tibetan people.

For those who aren’t familiar, a mandala is an ornate circular sand painting typically created by monks, and intended to extend peace and spiritual wisdom. Once they are completed and observed, the works of art are swept up and disposed of in a body of moving water at a special ceremony meant to symbolize the transitory nature of material life.

The monks began working on the local mandala at a ceremony held on Sunday, April 17, and will continue to work on the project until it is completed sometime this week.

According to the Facebook event announcing the mandala, once complete, the mandala will depict “an image of the healing, restorative Buddha.”

The work will be dismantled at a destruction ceremony planned for 3 p.m. on Friday, April 22.

The mandala was facilitated by Geshe Dorjee, a UA professor of Tibetan culture who has been working with Fayettechill partner Devin O’Dea on the project.

“The sand mandala project was Geshe’s idea…as a way to prime Dickson St. and Fayettechill’s audience for TibetanTees and to orientate all to the Tibetan culture’s beauty,” O’Dea said.

O’Dea and the company are raising funds to pay the monks for the mandala through local business sponsorships. Any money raised above the $2,000 goal will go to TibetanTees and Tutors for Tibet, an organization that provides education benefit to refugee Tibetan children.

You can catch the monks working on the mandala this week from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

For a bit more information, visit the Facebook event.