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I Had No Idea What These Monks Were Doing. And Then They Finished And… WHOA!

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You”ve probably never heard of a Mandala before, let alone a Sand Mandala. A Mandala is a spiritual and ritual symbol in both the Hindu and Buddhist religions. It is a beautiful, intricate geometric design that”s meant represents the universe. A Sand Mandala is a just like a traditional Mandala, except rather than being painted or woven, it is created using colored sand. Then as quickly as it is created, it is destroyed and the sand is returned to nature.

The work starts with lots of colored sand and specialized tools.

The work starts with lots of colored sand and specialized tools.

Make sure not to sneeze. The monks wear masks to keep from breathing directly on the Mandala.

Make sure not to sneeze. The monks wear masks to keep from breathing directly on the Mandala.

The sand used to be made from different colored crushed rocks. Now, white rocks are crushed and then dyed with ink.

The sand used to be made from different colored crushed rocks. Now, white rocks are crushed and then dyed with ink.

Monks constructing the Kalachakra Sand Mandala (one of the most complicated Mandala designs) as the Dalai Lama watches on.

Monks constructing the Kalachakra Sand Mandala (one of the most complicated Mandala designs) as the Dalai Lama watches on.

The completed Kalachakra Sand Mandala.

The completed Kalachakra Sand Mandala.

The sand is laid down and manipulated by small tubes, funnels, and scrapers into the final design.

The sand is laid down and manipulated  by small tubes, funnels, and scrapers into the final design.

Creating a Sand Mandala is not a solo activity. Typically it is done by a team of monks.

Creating a Sand Mandala is not a solo activity. Typically it is done by a team of monks.

They start at the center of the Mandala and work their way to the edges.

They start at the center of the Mandala and work their way to the edges.

Sometimes the result is a bit three dimensional.

Sometimes the result is a bit three dimensional.

It can take a few weeks for a team to finish creating a Mandala.

It can take a few weeks for a team to finish creating a Mandala.

Just as soon as the Sand Mandala is completed, it is destroyed.

Just as soon as the Sand Mandala is completed, it is destroyed.

The destruction of the Sand Mandala symbolizes the impermanence of life and the world.

The destruction of the Sand Mandala symbolizes the impermanence of life and the world.

Destruction is just as meticulous as construction. The Mandala”s parts need to be removed in a specific order.

Destruction is just as meticulous as construction. The Mandala

As the Mandala is destroyed the sand is collected in a jar. The jar is then wrapped in silk and taken to a river, where the sand is returned to nature.

As the Mandala is destroyed the sand is collected in a jar. The jar is then wrapped in silk and taken to a river, where the sand is returned to nature.

Imagine dedicating all of your time for weeks and weeks to building something… only to destroy it once you”ve finished it. That”s just amazing. Share these inspirational photos with your friends by clicking below.

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