Buddhist Monks Create Religious Artwork for Shaftesbury Fringe Weekend

You’ll be able to watch Buddhist monks create beautiful patterns and perform traditional Tibetan dance in Shaftesbury this summer.
The eight men are visiting from the Tashi Lhunpo monastery in India, which was established when the order was exiled from Tibet in 1959.
Over the course of five days from Monday 25 June the visitors will use millions of grains of brightly coloured ‘sand’ to create an intricate ‘Mandala’ design on a tabletop in Gold Hill Museum.
Tour organiser Jane Rasch says the work is deeply symbolic. “It’s made as a meditation, a sacred circle,” Jane says. “At the centre is the image of a Buddha represented by a thunderbolt. It’s made is to take away any negative effects which may come about as a result of taking a life, whether intentionally or unintentionally.”
There’ll be a talk about the Mandala process at Gold Hill Museum at 6.30pm on Wednesday 27 June.
The monks’ work will then be destroyed, to promote the principle of “impermanence and non-attachment,” at 11.30am on Monday 2 July.
Jane says spectators are often visibly moved as the painstakingly created vibrant colours are swept together into a pile of grey dust. Each grain is considered a blessing and visitors will be able to keep a small bag of the sand.
During their stay, the monks will also perform the masked dances and ‘extraordinary chanting’ associated with the Tibetan New Year festivities at Shaftesbury Town Hall at 7.30pm on Thursday 28 June.
The monks previously visited Shaftesbury during Gold Hill Fair. Jane says that they are keen to return in time for the town’s Fringe festival before heading to the world-famous Edinburgh event.
For more information listen to the podcast by clicking here