Mandala Sand Painting by the Mystical Arts of Tibet
Tibetan Buddhist monks from Drepung Loseling Monastery will construct a mandala sand painting and perform special ceremonies August 16-19 at Asia Society Texas Center. During this ritual, millions of grains of sand are meticulously placed in order to purify and heal the environment and its inhabitants.
Events are offered FREE to the public (except for Saturday's Sacred Music Sacred Dance for World Healing performances). Seating is not guaranteed at high-traffic times. A livestream of the mandala creation will run on Asia Society's website, with a new link posted daily.
During viewing hours, families can make their own Lung ta ("Wind Horse") prayer flag while learning about the symbolism of the flags and proper techniques for creating and hanging them. The prayer flags will be strung together and hung at Asia Society Texas Center.
Photography of the exhibition without flash is permitted.
About Mandala Sand Paintings
This artistic tradition of Tantric Buddhism, painting with colored sand, ranks as one of the most unique and exquisite. Millions of grains of sand are meticulously placed on a flat platform over a period of days or weeks to form the image of a mandala. To date, the monks from Drepung Loseling Monastery have created mandala sand paintings in more than 100 museums, art centers, and colleges and universities in the United States and Europe.
Mandala is a Sanskrit word meaning sacred cosmogram. These cosmograms can be created in various media, such as watercolor on canvas, wood carvings, and so forth. However, the most spectacular and enduringly popular are those made from colored sand.
In general, all mandalas have outer, inner, and secret meanings. On the outer level they represent the world in its divine form; on the inner level they represent a map by which the ordinary human mind is transformed into enlightened mind; and on the secret level they depict the primordially perfect balance of the subtle energies of the body and the clear-light dimension of the mind. The creation of a sand painting is said to effect purification and healing on these three levels.
About the Drepung Loseling Monastery
Following the legacy of Drepung Loseling Monastery, India, Drepung Loseling is dedicated to the study and preservation of the Tibetan Buddhist tradition of wisdom and compassion. A center for the cultivation of both heart and intellect, it provides a sanctuary for the nurturance of inner peace and kindness, community understanding, and global healing.
Viewing hours vary each day. Please see below for a list of special programs and activities offered.
Thursday, August 16
Viewing Hours: 12-6 p.m.
Opening Ceremony: 12 p.m.
After consecrating the site through chanting and music, the monks draw the mandala's outline on a wooden platform, then begin to lay the colored sands using a metal funnel called a chakpur.
Friday, August 17
Viewing Hours: 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Saturday, August 18
Viewing Hours: 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Community Mandala: 12-4 p.m. (while supplies last)
The whole community is invited to take part in the art by helping create a sand mandala. Guests will learn how to use the chakpur to fill in the design with sand.
TICKETED PERFORMANCES: Sacred Music Sacred Dance for World Healing:
Matinee performance: 2 p.m. | Full-length performance: 7 p.m.
Presenting Sponsor: Wells Fargo
Purchase online or call 713.496.9901
Following the last two years' sold-out concerts at Asia Society, the Drepung Loseling monks will perform ancient temple music and dance. The Loseling monks are particularly renowned for their multiphonic chanting known as zokkay (complete chord).
For the first time at Asia Society, the monks will perform a shorter, family-friendly afternoon matinee in addition to a full-length evening program.
Sunday, August 19
Viewing Hours: 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Closing Ceremony: 2 p.m.
The monks will dismantle the mandala, sweeping up the sands to symbolize the impermanence of life. The sand will be distributed to the audience at the conclusion of the ceremony, while supplies last.
HOUSTON, August 10, 2018 — Asia Society Texas Center is pleased to welcome back to Houston the Tibetan Buddhist monks from Drepung Loseling Monastery in southern India. From August 16-19, the monks will construct a sand mandala and perform music and dance ceremonies.
The monks’ visit has become the highlight of Asia Society’s summer offerings; thousands of people gather each year to watch the monks work. This is their fourth visit to share their art and ceremony with Houstonians.
It’s FREE for the public to witness the mandala construction ritual: during the ritual, millions of grains of sand are painstakingly laid into place in order to purify and heal the environment and its inhabitants.
During the opening ceremony, the monks consecrate the site through chanting, music, and mantra recitation. They then begin the painting by drawing an outline of the mandala on a wooden platform. Over four days, they lay the colored sands using a traditional metal funnel called a chakpur. Guests will be able to view the monks’ progress in person and online via a live stream at http://asi.as/MysticalArtsTibet.
The monks will also present Sacred Music Sacred Dance for World Healing, which draws from ancient Tibetan traditions and features multiphonic chanting, music, dance, and ornate costumes. The monks are particularly renowned for multiphonic chanting known as zokkay (complete chord); they also utilize traditional instruments, such as 10-foot-long dung chen horns, drums, bells, cymbals, and gyaling trumpets. NEW this year: The monks will add a shorter, family matinee performance so younger children can enjoy the ceremonies.
To date, the monks from Drepung Loseling Monastery have created mandala sand paintings and performed in more than 100 venues in the United States and Europe. They have sold out performances in Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall, have been featured on movie soundtracks such as Seven Years in Tibet starring Brad Pitt, and have released recordings, two of which achieved Top 10 on U.S. and Canadian New Age charts.
All of the monks’ activities will take place at Asia Society Texas Center, located at 1370 Southmore Boulevard in Houston’s Museum District.
Mandala Sand Painting Viewing Hours — Free to the Public
Thursday, August 16, 12 – 6 p.m. (Opening Ceremony starts at 12 p.m.)
Friday, August 17, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Saturday, August 18, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m., (Community Mandala 12 p.m. – 4 p.m.)
Sunday, August 19, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. (Closing Ceremony starts at 2 p.m.)
Sacred Music Sacred Dance for World Healing Performances
Saturday, August 18, 2 p.m. | Family matinee: $15 Members, $25 Nonmembers
Saturday, August 18, 7 p.m. | Full-length performance: $35 Members, $45 Nonmembers
About the Drepung Loseling Monastery
Drepung Loseling Monastery in southern India is dedicated to the training of young spiritual aspirants in Tibetan Buddhist traditions. The Monastery has become an important center for religious learning and practice, and is currently home to over 3,000 monks.
About Asia Society Texas Center
With 13 locations throughout the world, Asia Society is the leading educational organization promoting mutual understanding and strengthening partnerships among the peoples, leaders, and institutions of Asia and the rest of the world. Asia Society Texas Center executes the global mission with a local focus, enriching and engaging the vast diversity of Houston through innovative, relevant programs in arts and culture, business and policy, education, and community outreach.
Special program support from Lynn Wyatt. Major support for Asia Society Texas Center programs also comes from Chinhui Juhn and Eddie Allen, Nancy C. Allen, Leslie and Brad Bucher, Dr. Ellen Gritz and Milton Rosenau, the Anchorage Foundation, The Brown Foundation, Inc., Houston Endowment, the City of Houston through Houston Arts Alliance, and Wells Fargo. Generous funding also provided by AARP, The Clayton Fund, The Japan Foundation, Olive Jenney, Miller Theatre Advisory Board, The Franci Neely Foundation, New England Foundation for the Arts, the Wortham Foundation, the Texas Commission on the Arts, Nanako and Dale Tingleaf, Ann Wales, and through contributions from the Friends of Asia Society, a dedicated group of individuals and organizations committed to bringing exceptional programming and exhibitions to Asia Society Texas Center.
The Mystical Arts of Tibet tours are organized by the Drepung Loseling Monastery. Exhibitions at Asia Society Texas Center are presented by Wells Fargo. Major support comes from Chinhui Juhn and Eddie Allen, Nancy C. Allen, Leslie and Brad Bucher, the City of Houston through Houston Arts Alliance and the Anchorage Foundation. Generous funding also provided by The Clayton Fund, Texas Commission on the Arts, Ann Wales, Wortham Foundation, and through contributions from the Friends of Asia Society, a premier group of individuals and organizations committed to bringing exceptional exhibitions and programming to Asia Society Texas Center.
Plan Your Visit
1370 Southmore Blvd. Houston, TX 77004 713.496.9901
Learn about our health and safety protocols and procedures »