Clark College hosts Sand Mandala construction

For Immediate Release
January 2, 2020

For additional information (not for public -- news media inquiries only):

Hannah Erickson, Communications & Marketing
T: 360-992-2954 E:
Photos of 2012 sand mandala construction available at Photo credit: Clark College/Jenny Shadley.

Tibetan monks will create spiritual artwork in college’s library over course of five days

 VANCOUVER, Wash. – Clark College will host a group of four Tibetan Buddhist monks from South India from Monday, January 13, through Friday, January 17, as they construct a sand mandala in Cannell Library on the college’s main campus.

All events are free and open to the public; they are co-sponsored by Clark College International Programs, Clark College Libraries, and Dharma Light Tibetan Buddhist Association of Vancouver. (Full schedule printed below.) Cannell Library is located on Clark College’s main campus at 1933 Ft. Vancouver Way in Vancouver, Washington. Maps and directions are available at Anyone needing accommodation due to a disability in order to fully participate in this event should contact Clark College’s Disability Support Services Office at (360) 992-2314 or (360) 991-0901 (VP), prior to the event.

This project can be appreciated simply as a beautiful and intricate time-based art form. But according to Tibetan Buddhist belief, a sand mandala is meant to create a profound experience of compassion for any who attend. The positive effects of a sand mandala construction are believed to radiate out over the entire region, blessing the environment and the beings therein, in an effort for world peace. The mandala is destroyed in the closing ceremony, as a lesson in the impermanence of all phenomena. The opening and closing ceremonies will include traditional Tibetan Buddhist chanting and music. The closing ceremony will also include a procession to the Columbia River, where a small portion of the colored sand will be poured into the water as a form of blessing.

To view a video from a 2012 sand mandala construction—the last time the college hosted such an event—please visit Clark College’s YouTube channel at

Opening Ceremony    

Mandala Construction

Public Talk

Venerable Lobsang Dawa, with the help of translator Lobsang Dhondup, will speak about the history and meaning of the sand mandala, as well as the importance of compassion in daily life.

Closing Ceremony:

About Clark College

Located in Vancouver’s Central Park and serving up to 11,500 students per quarter, Clark College is Southwest Washington’s oldest public institution of higher education. The college currently offers classes at two satellite locations: one on the Washington State University Vancouver campus and one in the Columbia Tech Center in East Vancouver.