Neighborhood Congregational Church parishioners and visitors view and photograph the finished sand mandala.
The tools for creating a mandala: chakpurs, elongated metal funnels are used to scoop the brightly colored sand and then to lay the intricate patterns by rubbing one against another, creating a consistent vibration to help control the precise pouring of sand.
After a week and hours of work, the finished mandala is intentionally destroyed, a metaphor symbolizing the impermanence of life while also demonstrating a discipline for letting go of material possessions.
The mandala sand is then bagged and shared with church visitors, said to bring enlightenment, purification and healing.
The visiting Drepung Gomang Tibetan monks from India and creators of the mandala, chant and meditate during the final mandala dissolution ceremony.
Pam Wicks, NCC’s music director, and Rev. B.J. Beu with drum, lead the dissolution procession toward St. Ann’s Beach.
The ceremony concludes with the remaining mandala sand carried in an urn wrapped with a silk scarf and deposited in the nearest body of water, helping to distribute the positive energy of the mandala around the world. Photos by Mitch Ridder.