We're So Broke, the Monks Are Painting for Us

While lawmakers around the country are arguing over budget issues, pointing fingers and even locking each other out and hiding the keys, a small group of Buddhists monks are quietly asking for divine help.

Nine Buddhists monks traveled from Tibet to San Diego to create a sand painting in the hopes of ending the recession.

The monks, from the Drepung Loseling Monastery are working in a roped off area of the San Diego Natural History Museum this week to slowly and meticulously create a Mandala sand painting.

The practice is thousands of years old and is used as a healing ritual by Buddhist monks. The designs can be created to ask for long life or wisdom but the monks chose this particular design, the Green Tara Mandala, to help us all become less financially challenged.

“Here we are making a Mandala sand painting for the healing, purification and prosperity to help get through this economic crisis,” said spokesperson Tenzin Phentsok.

It’s an amazing sight to see. The monks use tools to layer grains of colored sand inside a design that alone takes three to four hours just to sketch out on a table.

Each artist will take a 90-minute shift over a five-day period, working non-stop to fill in that design and complete the piece by this Sunday at 1 p.m.

Once they’ve finished, the painting is dismantled during a closing ceremony; all the sands swept away to show “the inpermanence of the world,” said Phentsok.

Whatever your religious beliefs, whether your Jewish, Christian or Agnostic, it’s refreshing to see someone offering a little good will instead of arguing over what’s left behind.

Will it work? Who is to say? In our opinion, the effort is honorable. Some might even say, it's nothing to sneeze at.

Contact Us