The Sand

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Photographs by Douglas Benedict. Copyright Lehigh University.

Sand held in reserve and presented to Lehigh by Buddhist monks after the mandala dissolution ceremony at Sand Island on Bethlehem's North Side. The dissolution ceremony concluded the five-day creation and deconstruction of the sand mandala at Lehigh.

Using millions of grains of colored sand in the rotunda of Linderman Library in October 2007, four Buddhist monks from the Namgyal Monastery Institute of Buddhist Studies created a Chenrezig mandala symbolizing overcoming the five delusions of ignorance, anger, attachment, jealousy, and pride. The monks later dismantled it, and cast the sand into a body of water to emphasize the impermanence of all things and the importance of nonattachment.