What it looks like to painstakingly design a sand mandala for the Dalai Lama

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It took 10 days for two Tibetan monks to painstakingly design a mandala for the Dalai Lama’s 80th birthday

After a series of 15-hour days, their creation was blessed by the 14th Dalai Lama Tuesday morning at the University of California Irvine. The Nobel Peace Prize recipient, who is best known for preaching kindness and his advocacy work for Tibetans, has been celebrating his birthday amid a Global Compassion Summit at the university. Tibetan Buddhists consider the Dalai Lama to be a reincarnation of Avalokiteśvara, an enlightened being.

The mandala is meant to represent joy, equanimity, loving-kindness and compassion, according to organizers, but it also symbolizes impermanence. The colorful grains of sand will one day be returned to the ocean. Read more…

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