Compassion mandala

Wednesday, May 3

The Sacred Art of The Sand Mandala

12:00 pm

The Tibetan Buddhist Monks of Drepung Gomang Monastery will return to the ArtsCenter in Carrboro to construct a sacred sand mandala to show their compassion and loving kindness for the ongoing support of the Chapel Hill Carrboro community.  The group will construct a mandala over a 5 day period beginning April 30th in the Nicholson Art Gallery at the ArtsCenter.


  • Mandala construction will continue from Monday May 1st to May 5th from roughly noon into the evening.
  • Closing ceremony and deconstruction of the Mandala will be held Saturday May 6th – time TBA.


Since 1959 with the forced closure and destruction of the Tibetan Buddhist monasteries, cultural and Buddhist traditions have been kept alive in India where Drepung Gomang Monastery is now in exile for the education and training of over 2000 monks.  Lama camps allowed to operate by the Indian government in Karnataka state provide much needed support to the Tibetan exile community while they wait to return to their homelands in Tibet.  This is the reason so many Tibetan refugees refuse citizenship in their countries of exile, even today.


To raise money for their monastery, the monks of Drepung Gomang Monastery are allowed to demonstrate and show the people of the United States the art of Sand Painting as it is practiced in Tantric Buddhism.  Each day the Nicholson gallery will be open to the public, free of charge, to watch the monks lay down a spiritual design grain by grain of colored sand. In addition to mandala construction, merchandise (with many items created by the Tibetan Refugee community) will be on sale each day in the gallery.  Items for sale include prayer flags, malas, singing bowls and many more items.


Nicholson Gallery is open to the public from 10 am to closing and is wheelchair accessible.  Admission is free but donations will be gratefully accepted.  All proceeds collected during this event will be sent directly to the monastery to house, care and feed the monks in residence at Drepung Gomang Monastery and benefit the Tibetan refugee community they serve in Mundgod.


School visits are welcome, and should be coordinated with Arts Center community staff.  Press is invited to interview the tour group, and their translator, by appointment for print, radio and TV.  Please contact Arts Center staff for more information.