A photo essay: Urban Dharma celebrates fifth anniversary in Asheville with sand mandala ceremony

LESSON IN IMPERMANENCE: Tibetan lamas constructed an intricate sand mandala at a week-long ceremony at Urban Dharma, which ended in the dissolution of the mandala. Here Khenpo Chopel uses a dorje to bring sand to the center of the mandala from all four directions. Photo by Emily Nichols

Last week, Urban Dharma, the Tibetan Buddhist Center on Page Street in downtown Asheville, celebrated its fifth anniversary with a week-long schedule of programs, including the construction of a special Vasudhārā sand mandala. In Tibetan Buddhism, Vasudhārā is the deity of abundance, openheartedness, generosity and magnanimity.

Throughout the week, the Asheville community was invited to watch the construction of the sand mandala by Khenpo Chophel, of the Three Rivers Tibetan Cultural Center in Pittsburgh, Lama Konchok Sonam of Drikung Meditation Center in Boston, Mass., and Dr. Hun Lye, the spiritual director of Urban Dharma. Construction of the sand mandala began on Saturday, Oct. 1, and ended with a dissolution ceremony on Saturday, Oct. 8. The event culminated with a ritual offering and release of the sand into the French Broad River.

For more info, visit www.udharmanc.com.

About Emily Nichols
Emily Nichols is a writer and photographer for the Mountain Xpress. She enjoys writing about wellness and spirituality in WNC.

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One thought on “A photo essay: Urban Dharma celebrates fifth anniversary in Asheville with sand mandala ceremony

  1. Randy Gilana Goff

    What a beautiful photo essay. It’s a delight to see stories like this.

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