The first week back from winter break, GFA hosted Lama Yignyen Tenzen, a Tibetan Buddhist monk based in Geneva, NY. Tenzen spent each day working on a 4-foot sand mandala while talking to students and community members about spirituality and mindfulness.
Mandalas are usually created for rituals and for meditations; the belief is also that they purify the environment and its inhabitants to promote harmony in the world. The specific mandala created at GFA was meant to express the values of compassion and loving kindness.
Sand mandalas are created in the spirit of impermanence and non-attachment. On Tenzen’s last day at GFA, the sand was returned to the water at Burying Hill Beach across the street as a part of the dismantling ceremony with the GFA community.