Tibetan monks’ ceremony at Salisbury Cathedral

Date Posted: 09/08/2013

Tibetan monks from the Tashi Lhunpo Monastery will be in Salisbury Cathedral Chapter House from 9.30am to 4.30pm from 30th September to 4th October, creating a Sand Mandala.  

The process begins on Monday morning with a dedication ceremony and ends five days later with a destruction ceremony and procession to the river Avon.

Suitable for a Religious Education school visit, pupils will be allowed to watch the monks as they work in the Chapter House at any time during the five days.

About the Buddhist ceremony

The Sand Mandala is an artistic tradition of Tibetan Buddhism involving the creation and destruction of mandalas, or symbolic pictures, made from coloured sand.

The mandala is painstakingly laid using millions of grains of different coloured sand applied using small tubes, funnels, and scrapers, until the intricate pattern is achieved.  It is usual that a team of monks works together on the project, creating one section at a time and working from the centre outwards.  

Once completed and the accompanying ceremonies and viewing are finished, the sand mandala is ritualistically destroyed - symbolising the Buddhist doctrinal belief in the transitory nature of material life - and the sand swept up and poured into a river where its healing energies are carried throughout the world.  

For further school trip information visit www.salisburycathedral.org.uk.

School Travel Organiser's Guide