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Sweet Home Mandalas

Not for purchase

Different cultures, similar expressions
Both Navajo Indians and Tibetan monks create sand mandalas to demonstrate the impermanence of life.

In ancient Tibet, as part of a spiritual practice, monks created intricate mandalas with colored sand made of crushed semiprecious stones. The tradition continues to this day as the monks travel to different cultures around the world to create sand mandalas and educate people about the culture of Tibet.

The creation of a sand mandala requires many hours and days to complete. Each mandala contains many symbols that must be perfectly reproduced each time the mandala is created. When finished, the monks gather in a colorful ceremony, chanting in deep tones as they sweep their mandala into a jar and empty it into a nearby body of water as a blessing. This action also symbolizes symbolizes the cycle of life.

A world away, the American Navajo people also create impermanent sand paintings which are used in spiritual rituals–in much the same way as as they are used by Tibetans. A Navajo sandpainting ritual may last from five to nine days and range in size from three to fifteen feet or more. (from the :

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