Blanton Museum of Art: Tibetan Sand Mandala

A few weeks ago the Blanton Museum of Art hosted an exhibit entitled, "Into The Sacred City: Tibetan Buddhist Deities from the Theos Bernard Collection." As part of the exhibition, the museum invited 10 monks from the Drepung Loseling Monastery in Atlanta to create a 5-foot sand mandala in the museum’s Rapoport Atrium. These monks worked for several days to construct the mandala, which is an ancient ritual created for the healing of living beings and the environment. 

The monks painstakingly place millions of grains of colored sand on a table, creating a beautiful work of art that will soon be destroyed to symbolize the impermanence of life. There were people all around them taking photos, talking, moving from place to place. But the monks maintained a laser-like focus on what they were doing.

Check out the topography on this thing -- such intricate ridges of sand! I wonder if any of the monks has accidentally sneezed and messed it up. 

I also wonder how they know who's responsible for what. Apparently the monks have to go through rigorous training and memorize many sacred texts before they're able to participate; I'd imagine that the division of labor and the logistics therein are part of the spiritual discipline.