Mandala of Infinite Compassion

Today was the final day of Lama Venerable Tenzin Yignyen’s two-week visit to Harley. Throughout his time in the Gallery, classes and individual students have watched him work and listened to his passionate views on how we need to treat each other, take care of our world, and seek the positive in our lives–universal messages that even the youngest students can understand. It took six days over two weeks to complete the mandala, laying millions of grains of colored sand to form intricate geometric shapes and symbols. James D’Amanda of the CMEE and Lyn Parsons were instrumental in bringing Lama Tenzin back for his 8th year at Harley.

The mandala of compassion, was completed on Wednesday and today was the dismantling. Lama Tenzin shared his words of wisdom for the assembled students, faculty, staff and parents, focusing on the impermanence of all existence. As always, it was a great reminder to work towards loving kindness in all we do. The students were allowed to brush the sand into a pile, then Lama Tenzin collected it in a vase, and everyone went out to the creek to return it to nature in Allens Creek where it will flow to other waters and spread to the world.

Lama Tenzin was ordained by the Dalai Lama in 1969 and teaches and leads meditation courses at Hobart and William Smith Colleges.  He has taught and constructed sand mandalas at educational institutions and art museums in Russia, Mongolia, and the U.S., including The Natural Museum of History in Los Angeles, St. Lawrence College, and Cornell University. Thanks to Bill Schara for providing transportation for Lama Tenzin during his visit!

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