Quick, before it’s gone: An ancient art speaks to the fleeting present

October 11, 2018

By Staff

At a time when rancorous battles over the Supreme Court, midterm elections and kneeling athletes are dividing friends and families, Losang Samten is releasing healing energy into an angry world, if only for a moment.

A former Tibetan Buddhist monk, Samten is a master of the mandala, a spiritual sand painting whose creation is part meditation, part art. Since Sunday, he and apprentice Soo Kyong Kim have spent five hours each day sprinkling grains of sand in 30 colors onto a 5-foot-by-5-inch glass table at the Chenrezig Tibetan Buddhist Center in Northern Liberties. Ever so slowly this week, an image has been emerging of the Green Tara, a beloved Buddhist deity, the mother-savior-protectress, who represents wisdom and compassion.

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