I went to Onondaga Community College to see the two Monks that are visiting from the Namgyal Monastery that is located in Ithaca. They are building a Mandala at the student center.
It is a sand design that is flat. Each grain of sand is tapped through an instrument and put into the design. They started Monday and will be finished Thursday. The sand is different bright colors. It measures maybe close to two feet in size. You can kind of see it in the photos. It really is something to see.
I was told that the Monks open each day with a half hour prayer session and the work starts and continues on through the day.
This Mandala is being used as a way to bless the earth and its inhabitants. It is a very quiet place while they are working. At the end of the making of the Mandala they will gather the sand and throw it to the wind, another representation of the Buddha religion meaning no attachment to things.
I also purchased a necklace and bracelet that are symbols of Buddhism. It was a very rich enlightening experience.
If you get a chance, go see it.