Sipay Khorlo: The Wheel of Life

Lobsang Samten, formerly a Buddhist monk and personal attendant to the Dalai Lama, has practiced the art of sand painting for over 30 years. In January 2003, Lobsang visited the Holter Museum of Art in Helena, Montana, to create an intricate mandala called the Sipay Khorlo, or the Wheel of Life. After the mandala is finished, the children of the community destroy it in a dissolution ceremony. The sand is then distributed so it can bring luck and peace to the places that it reaches. Lobsang also spoke with many of the local children about Tibet, asked them about their culture, and showed them how to create their own mandalas using crayons and watercolors. The monks of Tashi Lhumpo Monestary performed several ceremonial songs which create a beautiful soundtrack. Sipay Khorlo: The Wheel of Life creates an appreciation for this ancient art form as well as for the importance of crossing cultural boundaries.