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Get ready for Tibetan monks!
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Telfair Museums will welcome the return of the popular Tibetan Buddhist monks of Drepung Loseling Monastery for the first time in more than four years.

As part of a weeklong residency, the monks will create a mandala sand painting throughout the week of September 23-29, 2013 at Telfair’s Jepson Center on Telfair Square.

The spiritual art form includes millions of grains of sand painstakingly laid into place on a flat platform over the course of the week. The monks have created mandala sand paintings in more than 100 museums, art centers and universities throughout the United States and Europe.

“To witness the creation of such a deeply spiritual work of art is truly a moving experience,” said Lisa Grove, director and CEO of Telfair Museums. “The Tibetan monks are one of the most requested programs offered by the Telfair. We’re deeply honored to welcome them back to the Jepson and to Savannah.”

The monks’ begin their residency Monday, September 23 at 5 p.m. with an opening ceremony of chants, after which they draw the outline of the mandala. Visitors are welcome during daily museum hours between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. on September 23-28, except during the monks’ lunchtime.

The closing ceremony happens Sunday, September 29 at 2 p.m., when the monks destroy the mandala and distribute some of the sand to the audience. The monks then invite the audience to proceed with them to the Savannah River, where they release the remaining sand into the river to disperse the mandala’s healing energies throughout the world.

Additionally, the monks will lead a free lecture about the symbolism of the sand mandala on Thursday, September 26 at 5:30 p.m. For youngsters, families are invited to participate in special sand painting activities on Thursday, September 26 from 10 a.m. to noon and Saturday, September 28 from 1 to 3 p.m.

All events are free and open to the public.