All this week at Utah State University, the religious studies program has invited two Buddhist monks to demonstrate the sacred art of sand mandalas.
Passersby may notice what looks a lot like a section of the student "Hub" roped off around two robed men. What those men will be envisioning is their own small piece of heaven—a suitable space to create a sand mandala. The sand mandala is an ancient Tibetan art form made by arranging colored sand in geometrical patterns. Dr. Hun Lye, professor of East Asian Religion at Davidson College, says the process is very symbolic.
"The entire mandala is seen as, basically, our person. It's almost like you imagine that sentence in the Bible that says that your body is the temple of God, and they went literally into explaining and unpacking that whole statement—how each part of your body is like one physical feature of the temple."
The two monks, Lama Sonam and Khenpo Choephel, will be at Utah State all week, mostly between the hours of 10 A.M. and 5 P.M. Anyone is welcome to view the monks as they work.