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Peace Week concludes Friday with sand mandala closing ceremony and Peace Garden dedication

The final day of Old Dominion University's Peace Week will feature the sand mandala closing ceremony at 11:30 a.m. Friday, April 9, in the South Mall of Webb Center.

Since Monday, 11 Buddhist monks from Drepung Loseling Monastery in India have been on campus to create the intricate mandala, a Tibetan Buddhist tradition that features a circular design with concentric geometric forms and images of deities.

According to the Mystical Arts of Tibet Web site, "Millions of grains of sand are painstakingly laid into place on a flat platform over a period of days or weeks. Formed of a traditional prescribed iconography that includes geometric shapes and a multitude of ancient spiritual symbols, the sand-painted mandala is used as a tool for re-consecrating the earth and its inhabitants."

During the closing ceremony, the monks will dismantle the mandala, sweeping up the colored sand to symbolize the impermanence of all that exists. Half of the sand will be distributed to the audience. The monks will then carry the remaining sand to the Elizabeth River, where it will be ceremonially poured to disperse the healing energies of the mandala throughout the world.

Also, at 3 p.m. on Friday, President John R. Broderick will unveil the dedication plaque for the Peace Garden, formerly known as the Princess Anne Garden, behind Webb Center.

Sponsored by the Division of Student Affairs, ODU's first Peace Week also features a Peace in Action Fair from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday on Kaufman Mall, as well as the following additional events on Friday:

  • Praying in Color, sponsored by University Chaplains Association, Webb Center, Rectors Room, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Praying in Color is a creative way to spend time in prayer without words. It provides an opportunity for even those who are not artistic to create a visual reminder of prayer concerns while spending time in quiet meditation.

  • Stress Free Zone, sponsored by the Office of Counseling Services, Hampton/Newport News Room, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Students, faculty and staff are invited to escape from the stress of final exams and end-of-semester woes. The zone will provide a relaxing setting for playful activities and stress reduction. In addition, healing touch and chair massages will be offered, along with soothing music and light refreshments.

  • Basic Foundations of Yoga, sponsored by Recreation and Wellness, Kaufman Mall, 6:30 p.m.

Aimee Leifer from Recreation and Wellness will lead an evening yoga class on Kaufman Mall, a chance to learn some basic poses to take home and practice. Registration required: AimeeL320@yahoo.com.

  • Stress Management Workshop, Student Health Services and Recreation and Wellness, Webb Center, Cape Charles Room, 1-2 p.m.

Feeling stressed? For tips on reducing stress and creating inner peace, join Student Health Services and Recreation and Wellness for a stress management workshop.

For more information, contact Leah Douglas, graduate assistant for the Division of Student Affairs, at 683-5869 or lcdougla@odu.edu.

This article was posted on: April 8, 2010

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