Clark College hosts Sand Mandala construction Oct. 2-6

For Immediate Release   
September 15, 2023
For additional information (media inquiries & photo requests)  
Maureen Chan-Hefflin, Clark College Communications & Marketing  
T: 360-992-2243 E:    

Buddhist monks will create spiritual artwork in college’s library over five days  

VANCOUVER, Wash.— Clark College will host Tibetan Buddhist monks from Monday, October 2, through Friday, October 6, as they construct a sand mandala in Cannell Library on the college’s main campus. This will be the third time monks have constructed a sand mandala on campus. Previously, mandalas were constructed at Clark College in 2012 and 2020. 

All events are free and open to the community. They are co-sponsored by Clark College International Programs, Clark College Libraries, and Dharma Light Tibetan Buddhist Association of Vancouver. (See full schedule below.)  

Cannell Library is located on Clark College’s main campus at 1933 Fort Vancouver Way in Vancouver, Wash. 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. 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 also will include meeting at the Grant Street Pier at Vancouver Waterfront Park (West Waterfront Way and Grant Street). 

View a video from the 2012 sand mandala construction on Clark College’s YouTube channel:

Opening ceremony

• Monday, October 2, 12:00 – 12:30 p.m.   

Mandala construction 

• Monday, October 2, 12:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.

• Tuesday, October 3, 10:00 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.

• Wednesday, October 4, 10:00 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.

• Thursday, October 5, 10:00 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.

• Friday, October 6, 10:00 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.

Sacred Tibetan art presentation 

• Tuesday, October 3, 12:00 – 1:00 p.m. 

Venerable Lobsang Dawa will speak about the history and meaning of the sand mandala and the importance of compassion in daily life.

Closing ceremony with music 

• Friday, October 6, 1:30 – 2:30 p.m.

Procession to Columbia River at Grant Street Pier

• Friday, October 6, 3:00 – 4:00 p.m.  

About Clark College  

Founded in 1933 and celebrating its 90th year, Clark College provides residents of Southwest Washington with affordable, high-quality academic and technical education. It is a public community college offering more than 100 degree and certificate programs, including bachelor’s and associate degrees; professional certificates; high school diplomas and GED preparation; and non-credit community and continuing education. Clark serves a wide range of students including high school students, displaced workers, veterans, parents, non-native English speakers, and mature learners. Approximately three-quarters of its students are in the first generation of their families to attend college.    

Event poster [PDF] available for sharing

Photos of 2012 sand mandala construction at Clark College:   
Photo credit: Clark College/Jenny Shadley 

Video of 2012 sand mandala construction: