200 Days in the Life of the College

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Wednesday, October 6

The art of impermanence

Nine Buddhist monks from the Gaden Shartse Monastery in southern India conclude three days’ work on a labyrinthine sand mandala at the Emerson Gallery with a special ritual to bless the mandala; their creation is then portioned out to observers, and the remaining sand is borne to Root Pond and poured into its waters as a purification rite and a lesson in the impermanence of all things. The painstaking process of creating the mandala involves applying sands of many colors and textures to a platform, using metal tubes with a variety of tips to create different effects.