Sand sendoff; Monks end two-week stay in Grass Valley | TheUnion.com

Sand sendoff; Monks end two-week stay in Grass Valley

A group of visiting Tibetan Buddhist monks ended a two-week stay in Grass Valley with a Saturday ceremony that celebrated the completion of a sand mandala, as well as its dissolution.

"The moment of dissolution of the mandala, reminds us of our impermanence," an interpreter for the monks said during the ceremony, "It's good to remind ourselves of that."

Many gathered around in the chapel at St. Joseph's Cultural Center in Grass Valley, and watched closely as the monks meticulously swept millions of grains of colored sand into a pile in the center of the table.

It had taken five monks two weeks of working eight to 10 hours a day to complete.

Before dissolving the mandala, the monks offered an overall meaning of the Grass Valley sand mandala, though there are hidden meanings, and secret meanings as well.

"The path to enlightenment is in the mandala," the interpreter said. "You just have to know how to read it."

Recommended Stories For You

Following Saturday evening's closing ceremony, a small portion of the sand was handed to everyone in attendance. The sand is said to help in assisting in the passage to the next world.

The remainder of the mandala was poured into Deer Creek in Nevada City and Wolf Creek in Grass Valley.

To contact Multimedia Reporter Elias Funez email efunez@theunion.com or call 530-477-4230.