Lent 2024NewsSand mandala art

CUCC Council has agreed to host a precious and rare opportunity to experience the creation and blessings of a Buddhist sand mandala in our Fellowship Hall from March 14-16. Linda Saah, a neighbor and friend of the congregation, is a Spiritual Program Coordinator at the Kadampa Center for the Practice of Tibetan Buddhism here in Raleigh. She contacted us to let us know that Buddhist monks from the Sera Jey Monastery in India are visiting Raleigh to create sand mandalas of healing and of peace and prosperity , and asked if CUCC would be willing to host as a community location for the creation of one.

The creation of the sand mandala takes place over the course of three days, as the monks painstakingly sprinkle sand to create the intricate patterns of the mandala. The Sand Mandala of Healing is a representation of the pure land of Medicine Buddha. We begin with an Opening Ceremony on the first morning of the mandala event (Thurs. March 14 at 10AM), followed by three full days (Thurs, Fri, Sat 10AM-4PM) in which the monks will complete the creation of the mandala. There will be a closing ceremony on Saturday at 3PM where, in recognition of the impermanence of all phenomena, the mandala will be deconstructed and the sacred sand will be taken to a body of water to be dispersed to benefit other living beings. Some of the blessed sand will be available for attendees to take home, including instructions on how to use it. All are welcomed and encouraged to come to either or both ceremonies and/or to hang out or drop by the fellowship hall on any of the three days that the monks are working, to observe, and to witness. Bring friends and family of all ages ~ everyone is welcome and encouraged to attend!

As you are exploring your own faith this Lent, consider adding an exploration of the spiritual practice of the mandala and witness an example of the impermanence of everything.

For more information on the three day event, contact Rev. Santi Matthews.