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Tuesday, October 9, 2018


The Denis Hurley Centre is honoured to be hosting the creation of a Buddhist Sand Mandala this weekend from October 14, 2018.

This will be an amazing experience as three Tibetan monks in robes laboriously spend seven days chiselling away at coloured rocks to create an intricate spiritual image while praying and chanting.

The colours for the painting are made with naturally coloured sand, crushed gypsum (white), yellow ochre, red sandstone, charcoal, and a mixture of charcoal and gypsum (blue). Mixing red and black can make brown, red and white make pink. Other colouring agents include corn meal, flower pollen, or powdered roots and bark.

The monks will be travelling with companions from Tibet who will be on hand to explain more about the religion and culture of Tibet. There will also be an opportunity for people to buy Tibetan products and to colour in their own mandalas.

“This is a powerful expression of inter-faith solidarity,” commented Raymond Perrier Director of the Denis Hurley Centre. “It gives us an opportunity to learn the ancient wisdom of religious art and healing associated with the Tibetan Buddhist tradition. We also want to share our own traditions with the visitors. So we are delighted that, at the same time, a group of Durban beach artists will be creating a sand sculpture outside the Denis Hurley Centre: the sand mandala meets the sand Mandela!”

Elizabeth Gaywood from the Tibet Society of SA who is sponsoring the visit added: “The last time such an event was created in Durban was at KZNSA eight years ago. It was important to us to include Durban in this national tour because it is a city with such a reputation for religious tolerance.”

The creation of the Sand Mandala will be open for public viewing from October 15 to 21, each day from 10h00 to 16h00 (safe parking opposite, below Victoria Street Market).  Groups from schools and other organisations are expected and are most welcome but should book in advance by emailing

Janet Talbot, education specialist working with the DHC added: “This is a wonderful experience for school learners to see – and a chance to teach them about (among other things): Religious art, Eastern religions, Spiritual healing and even Chinese politics!

On the last day –October 21 at 15h30 - the image will be ceremoniously swept away and the sand carried to the sea. The sand is totally natural and will not harm the environment in any way. Elizabeth Gaywood from the Tibet Society of SA explained: “This is to remind us that all art and beauty on this earth is transitory and only the things of heaven will last.”