Circle of Enlightenment: Tibetan Buddhist Sand Mandala

Mandalas: Sacred Circles of Healing and Enlightenment
Slide lecture by Dr. Daniel Cozort

In this slide lecture, Professor Cozort will discuss mandalic--circular--images from around the world. In many cases, such as in the sand paintings of the Pueblo and Navajo Indians of the U.S. Southwest, the images are created to heal, patients using them in a way strikingly similar to the way in which Tibetan sand paintings are used. Buddhist sand paintings, like those of Native Americans, are cosmosgrams, incorporating Buddhist notions of the structure of the cosmos and the makeup of the subtle energy body that every individual possesses. The Buddhist mandala structure can be seen not only in sand paintings but also in Buddhist memorial monuments (stupas) and temples. Turning to specific Tibetan sand paintings, Professor Cozort will closely examine two prominent examples--the Vajrabhairava and Kalachakra Mandalas.

Dan Cozort is an associate professor of religion at Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, where he teaches about the religions of India and Native America and lives with his wife and two children. A native of North Dakota, he earned degrees from Brown University and the University of Virginia. His collaborations with Tibetan lamas, including two lengthy stays in south Indian monasteries, have resulted in two books on Buddhist tantra, a catalogue for an exhibition on tantric art, a video documentary on sand mandalas, and a book on the Prasangika-Madhyamika school of Buddhist philosophy. Before coming to Dickinson, he taught at the University of Virginia, James Madison University, and Bates College. He was one of the founders of the South India Term Abroad (SITA) study program, a collaborative effort of several small liberal arts colleges, and served as its director in Madurai, south India, in 1992-93. He is President of the Central Pennsylvania Buddhist Fellowship, advises the Dickinson chapter of Students for a Free Tibet, and is involved in a variety of capacities with a new Unitarian Universalist congregation in Carlisle.

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