At my school there is a small art gallery located above the food courts. Today they had some Buddhist monks making sand mandalas. I had heard about them but never actually saw one until today. There were 4 monks making a mandala on a big square 4-legged table. It was quite exquisite and beautiful. The monks use these long metal tubes, called a chak-pur, basically a funnel, which has grooves or notches going up its length. They also have a metal tool like a chop stick that they run up and down the groves on the tube to cause the sand to flow out. It’s quite a clever design, as no sand will flow out unless you run up and down with the tool. It makes a zzzzzzzt zzzzzzzzzt zzzzzzzzzzt sound as they make the mandala. This one is very similar to it. Its amazing, they can actually make the sand shade from one color to another. Once they finish they have a ceremony, followed by sweeping up all the sand into an urn and pouring it into a river . It has to do with the 'nothing is permanent' philosophy of life. They say that by pouring it into the river it washes away the pains and sufferings of mankind and causes planetary healing. http://www.si.edu/festival/1998Fest/images/sand.jpg [Broken] http://www.namgyal.org/TibetanArt/Photos/Mar20-2.jpg [Broken] http://www.namgyal.org/TibetanArt/Photos/Mar11-4.jpg [Broken] It's really something you have to see for yourself. Too bad most of the kids were too stupid talking on their cell phones or to eachother go realize what was going on in the Art Gallery RIGHT NEXT TO THEM! What a bunch of morons what can I say.