BATESVILLE, Ark. – Lyon College is playing host this week to a group of visiting Tibetan monks.
The six monks were invited by the school to providing a unique cultural and educational opportunity to the Lyon college community.
“We want to give a message about the impermanent,” says Tenzin Dundup, one of the monks from the Drepung Loseling Monastery.
The men hope to enlighten the community about the importance of valuing oneself over material objects and avoid becoming attached to inanimate objects.
“For example, you see the Mandel it’s very beautiful and tomorrow it will go away – a message to keep away from attachment,” says Dundup.
Carson Matthews, a junior at Lyon College, says in the short time the men have been on campus she has become more aware and sees the value in taking a step back and analyzing herself.
“I probably have a slightly unhealthy attachment to my phone. I like having it in my pocket and getting to pull it out whenever I want or just things that I expect to always be there. So I think that it’s a good message to have and remember that things don’t stick around for very long,” says Matthews.
During the ceremony, the monks will begin preparing the site for the Mandala Sand Painting with chants, music, and dance.
Visitors can view the sand painting from 1 to 5 p.m. on Monday and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Tuesday and Wednesday.
On Thursday, the sand painting will be available for viewing from 10 to 11 a.m., and a closing ceremony will take place at noon.
The monks will dismantle the Mandala, sweeping up the colored sands to symbolize the impermanence of all that exists. Half of the sand will be distributed to all in attendance.