Join Us for a Unique Experience

September 18-23, 2024

In September 2024, monks from Namgyal Monastery Institute of Buddhist Studies, a Tibetan Buddhist monastery in Ithaca, N.Y., will construct a mandala out of different colors of sand on Ithaca College’s campus. This mandala is dedicated to Chenrezig, the bodhisattva (highly advanced spiritual being) of compassion, also known as Avalokiteśvara. Tibetan Buddhists traditionally recognize Chenrezig as the patron of Tibet and view the XIV Dalai Lama as an emanation of Chenrezig in the physical world.  

Featured Events

Learn more about several special events that will occur as part of the mandala project.

Mandala Construction • September 18-23 • 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. • Business School Upper Atrium

Stop by the Business School Upper Atrium to watch as the monks construct the mandala. 

Every day September 18-23 the monks will pause their work at 3:00 p.m. for chanting, followed by a brief meditation session. All are welcome.

Opening Ceremony • Wednesday, September 18 • 10:00 a.m. • Business School Upper Atrium

IC will formally kick off the event with a brief ceremony, led by President Cornish and representatives from Namgyal Monastery.

Mandala Open House • Sunday, September 22 • 2:00–4:00 p.m. • Business School Upper and Lower Atrium

This event for all ages, curated by Ithaca College students Nandini Agarwal, Zoe Kwasnicki, and Prakriti Panwar, allows you to design, sketch, stitch, and color a mandala while learning more about Buddhist traditions and religious symbols.

Dissolution Ceremony • Monday, September 23 • 4:00–6:00 p.m. • Business School Upper Atrium and Muller Chapel

Upon completion, the mandala will remain on display until 4:00 p.m. on Monday, September 23, when a dissolution ceremony involving the gathering up of the sand will occur. The campus community and members of the wider public are invited to join the procession that will carry the sand from the Business School Upper Atrium to the pond next to Muller Chapel. The ritual pouring of the sand into a body of water, in addition to formally dismissing the mandala-deity, powerfully expresses the Buddhist doctrine of impermanence and is believed to spread the karmic merit accumulated by the construction of the mandala to all sentient beings. 

A reception in Muller Chapel will directly follow the ceremony. Refreshments will be provided and all are welcome to attend.