Tibetan monks, clockwise, from bottom left, Yeshi Nyendak, Kalsang Gyamtso, Ngargo Tulku and Tenpa Phuntsok kneel over a large wooden board as they complete a holy sand mandala to represent world peace Thursday, May 30, 2013, at Unitarian Universalist Church. The group of monks, seven in all, are on a six-month tour to more than 20 U.S. cities to teach, share, create and raise money for their 90-member Labrang Tashi Kyil Monastery in Dehradun, India.
Over the next six days, individual grains of sand will come together into an intricate and colorful work of art.
Tibetan Buddhist monks will spend hours hunched over the ground, painstakingly tapping colored sand into place on a 4-foot-wide design. With precision and delicate touch, a symbol of unity, peace and hope will come together.
The creation of the sacred sand mandala is the centerpiece of a cultural exchange and outreach program hosted by Franklin College starting today. The Labrang Tashi Kyil monks have been touring the country this year to share Tibetan traditions and Buddhist concepts.