Buddhist monks will begin to construct a sand mandala on October 1 for the fifth annual celebration of Peace Week at Pasco-Hernando Community College. Peace Week—tolerance, will be held October 1–5. Although Peace Week events will be held at all PHCC campuses, the making of the sand mandala will be in the A building lobby at the Spring Hill Campus in Spring Hill, 450 Beverly Court.
Forming the mandala (Sanskrit for circle) is a tradition associated with the most profound and elaborate Buddhist ceremonies in Tibet. Before laying down bits of colored sand, monks mark a large surface with geometric measurements to bring the message of generating compassion and overcoming anger and hatred. The design takes days to complete as small tubes, funnels and scrapers are used to carefully place the sand. Visitors can view the creation of the sand mandala from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., October 1–4.
Although the construction is a long and disciplined effort, the mandala is temporary. Upon completion, Drupon Thinley Ningpo Rinpoche will offer a sand mandala teaching at 5 p.m. on Thursday, October 4 followed by a dissolution ceremony where the sand will be released into the campus pond to signify spreading kindness and compassion into the world and the impermanence of people and the world around us. On the topic of religion and peace, keynote speaker Scott Appleby, one of four internationally renowned speakers, will discuss “The Ambivalence of the Sacred: Religion, Violence and Reconciliation.” His presentation will be held on October 4 at 3:30 p.m. at Spring Hill Campus. Additionally, a Religion Festival will be held on October 4 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Spring Hill Campus.
Sponsored by the Tampa Bay Times, PHCC’s Peace and Social Justice Institute, and the student activities department, all Peace Week events are free and open to the community. View an agenda of activities, times and locations, or call 1-877-TRY-PHCC for more information.