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"We Tibetans are looking for a legitimate and meaningful autonomy, an arrangement that would enable Tibetans to live within the framework of the People’s Republic of China."

Mandala Creation Caught On Time Lapse

June 6, 2010

ATLANTA, Georgia - You could call it true performance art with religious connotations. As part of Emory University's annual "Tibet Week" earlier this spring, Buddhist Monks spent six days creating a Mandala of colored sand.

An officer at a local monastery says monks have created this precise, sacred art for thousands of years. They use a grated metal rod and a traditional metal funnel. Millions of grains of sands are used to make the art.

But it's not just as simple as laying out sand. The monks must first go through lots of training, memorizing religious texts and rituals before they can participate.

Within an hour of finishing the art work, the monks swept it away in a ritualistic ceremony. It's designed to symbolize just how fleeting life can be. Monks then passed out half the sand to the audience as blessings for health and healing. The rest was poured into a nearby river as a gift to Mother Earth.

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