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Monks create sand mandala in San Luis Obispo

Jamyang Jinpa slowly adds sand to the mandala he's working on Tuesday morning at the Steynberg Gallery in San Luis Obispo. Jinpa and several other Tibeten monks, from the Drepung Gomang Monastery in India, are creating a sand mandala at the gallery through Friday.
Jamyang Jinpa slowly adds sand to the mandala he's working on Tuesday morning at the Steynberg Gallery in San Luis Obispo. Jinpa and several other Tibeten monks, from the Drepung Gomang Monastery in India, are creating a sand mandala at the gallery through Friday. jjohnston@thetribunenews.com

Tibetan monks representing the Drepung Gomang Monastery are working on a sand mandala through Friday, April 17, at Steynberg Gallery in San Luis Obispo.

After drawing out guidelines, artists use small tubes, funnels and scrapers to lay down colored grains of sand in intricate patterns; the mandala is then ritualistically destroyed to represent the transitory nature of life.

On April 17, the monks will perform a cultural pageant at the gallery featuring chanting, song, dance and debate. Although viewing the creation of the mandala is free, a donation of $20 is suggested for the performance.

If you can't make it, don't worry — the monks plan to create more mandalas around the Central Coast. They’ll visit Earthtones Gallery in Paso Robles from April 21 to 24, the Oceano Train Depot from April 29 to May 3 and Allan Hancock College in Santa Maria on May 4 to 8.

They'll also make a few other appearances locally; for more information and a complete schedule, call Anet Carlin at 466-4653 or visit http://www.charley.net.

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