Spiritual artistic experience in Spartanburg
Posted 9/30/2013 2:41:00 PM
The first time I heard of the process of creating a mandala, I was horribly distressed. The idea that all that beauty would be ceremoniously deconstructed just days after it had painstakingly been created was foreign to me.
However, after years of seeing work being tossed away without care, I now appreciate that at least the mandala gets a ceremony.
The idea is to show the impermanence of life, an unsettling thought to be sure, but spiritual in its intent.
You can experience this first-hand this week at the Chapman Cultural Center
(864) 542-2787, 200 East St. John St., Spartanburg
Tibetan monks from the Drepung Loseling Monastery will began the process of creating the sand painting today (Monday, Sept. 30) with an opening ceremony starting at noon to consecrate the site. The monks will work 25 to 30 hours creating large circular designs with colored sand funneled through a chakpur.
On Friday, they will begin to take it apart, sharing some of the millions of grains of sand with onlookers and letting the rest wash away in a nearby creek or stream.
You can watch the monks at work and view the artwork each day from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. On Thursday night at 7, a concert of sacred music and dance will be given by the monastery’s singers. The two-hour performance combines chanting, music and dance based on authentic temple dances, performed for centuries in Tibet. The sand painting demonstrations are free, but the concert is $20 per person, $10 for students.
The monks have toured around the world in an effort to preserve of the Tibetan Buddhist tradition of worship and compassion.
The Chapman Cultural Center is a three-building campus built around a plaza in downtown Spartanburg. It includes a 500-seat theater, art and dance studios as well as the Spartanburg Art Museum
and the Spartanburg County Regional History Museum
. The center is open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.