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Sand mandala for centre in Petaling Jaya

By ANTHONY CHEW, The Star, Feb 2, 2008

Four nuns from Nepal to work on it during Chinese New Year

Petaling Jaya, Malaysia -- For the first time, four nuns from the Kopan Nunnery in Nepal will come over to Losang Dragpa Centre (LDC) here to recreate a sand mandala from Feb 8 to Feb 20. 

The raw materials, costing between RM5,000 and RM10,000, are from Nepal. The sand has to be grinded and coloured before the 1.5m by 1.5m Mandala can be built.

The mandala will be painstakingly laid into place on a flat platform, forming an intricate diagram of the enlightened mind and ideal world.

It is used for meditation and visualisation needed on the path to enlightenment for the benefit of all sentient beings.

LDC spokesman Lee Chung Han said in an interview that the public could view the mandala, which would be placed at the prayer hall, during construction and after it was completed on Feb 20.

He said the centre’s resident dharma teacher, Geshe Tenzin Zopa, would lead the prayers at start of the opening ceremony on Feb 8.

“We expect to take about two weeks to complete the process,” he said, adding that the period Feb 7 to Feb 20 also coincided with the Tibetan New Year of Losar, where merits or virtuous actions are said to multiply by 100 million times, according to Buddhist scriptures.

Lee said there would be a lion dance performance at 3pm at the centre, followed by new year blessings at 5pm on Chinese New Year Day on Feb 7.

Construction of the mandala will start at 10am on Feb 8 and free lunch will be served at noon.

Tibetan Buddhist followers believe that by seeing the image of the mandala, one can purify one’s negative karma, thus helping to remove obstacles.

The Chenresig Sand Mandala represents the celestial mansion – the home of Chenresig, who embodies the enlightened qualities of wisdom and compassion.

For more information on the mandala, call the centreat 03-79683278 or visit www.fpmt-ldc.org.


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