Ali Center is open Wednesdays through Sundays, 12:00 noon to 5:00 pm.

Visiting Tibetan Buddhist Monks to Create An Interfaith World Peace Sand Mandala

Muhammad Ali Center
144 N. 6th Street, Louisville, KY 40202
Tuesday August 28 at 9:30am – September 1, 5:00pm
with Dissolution Ceremony on Sunday, September 2, 1:00pm
Sponsored by Drepung Gomang Center for Engaging Compassion

(Louisville, KY) Drepung Gomang Center for Engaging Compassion (DGCEC), Louisville’s Tibetan and Compassion Education Center and the Muhammad Ali Center announce the creation of an Interfaith World Peace Sand Mandala. This unique cultural event coincides with WorldFest and all are welcome to visit!

The World Peace Mandala is being created by eight visiting monks from Drepung Gomang Monastery in India – whose mission is to help grow compassion, interfaith understanding, and peace – for the people of Louisville. This is a “visual prayer for nonviolence” with the intention of opening our minds and spirits to the possibility of a community without violence, where each individual is recognized as a gift to our world.

Creation of the Sand mandala will begin Tuesday, August 28 at 9:30am and will continue until 5pm on Saturday, September 1. It will be on display in the lobby of the Ali Center on Sunday, September 2, Noon until the dissolution ceremony at 1:00pm. At that time the monks will perform a dissolution ceremony in which they ceremonially sweep up the sandy image, gathering all the good intentions and prayer for World Peace, then processing to the river and release them for the benefit of all.

The Muhammad Ali Center is located just across the pedway that connects the Ali Plaza to the Belvedere, where WorldFest is taking place. Exhibits will be open during the creation of the mandala, and while there is no cost to view the monks at work in the Center’s new lobby, regular admission prices apply.
All are invited to stop by to offer personal, silent wishes and prayers for nonviolence.

As the creation of the Sand Mandala progresses, the monks will also be selling unique and beautiful Tibetan crafts, prayer beads, jewelry, clothes, bags and spiritual items. All funds raised help provide food, housing, healthcare and education for the 2000 monks, many of whom are refugees, at Drepung Gomang Monastery in India. Donations to support the monks are also welcome.

“This sand mandala draws out our natural capacity to grow compassion,” says Anne Walter, Director of DGCEC. “The monks’ work and altruistic intention for World Peace, combined with the wisdom of Muhammad Ali, and joined by the desire of all good people, helps bring world healing beginning in our community.

Jeanie Kahnke, Senior Director of Public Relations and External Affairs at the Ali Center, comments “Because Muhammad Ali was a man of peace and a beloved global citizen, the Ali Center—a place whose mission incorporates respect, hope, and understanding—could not be more pleased to welcome the Tibetan Buddhist Monks and the public to our facility. Having this occur during WorldFest, is both timely and symbolic as a way to celebrate our international citizens and their cultures.”

What is the meaning of this Interfaith World Peace Sand Mandala?

The Sacred Sand Mandala, a kind of painting made from ground stone, is a Tibetan Buddhist art form thought to have originated in India and brought to Tibet in the Middle Ages. “Mandala” is a Sanskrit word meaning cosmogram or “world in harmony.” Traditionally the sand mandala is carefully constructed from dyed sand particles into images that represent the Tibetan Buddhist universe. It is constructed as a vehicle to generate compassion, demonstrate the impermanence of reality, and bring a sense of healing to a place or to a group of people.

The Interfaith World Peace Sand Mandala includes symbols from many great religious traditions circled around a peace dove and globe. Other circles include multi-colored people holding hands, symbols of the seasons and the four elements, all depicting harmony and healing.

Over four days the monks will build this extremely intricate picture, literally one grain of sand at a time, on a five-foot square piece of wood. The process begins and concludes each day with chanted prayers for nonviolence, peace, interfaith understanding, and the growth of compassion.

Tuesday, August 28 9:30pm Opening Ceremony
10am - 4:30pm Initial construction of the Sand Mandala
4:45pm Daily closing ceremony
Wednesday, August 29 9:30am – 4:45pm Construction of Sand Mandala
4:45pm Daily closing ceremony
Thursday, August 30 9:30am – 4:45pm Construction of Sand Mandala
4:45pm Daily closing ceremony
Friday, August 31 9:30am – 4:45pm Construction of Sand Mandala
4:45pm Daily closing ceremony
Saturday, September 1 9:30am – 4:45pm Construction of Sand Mandala
4:45pm Daily closing ceremony
Sunday, September 1 Noon Viewing of Sand Mandala
1 – 2pm Dissolution Ceremony and Release of Prayers

About Drepung Gomang Center for Engaging Compassion
DGCEC, a Tibetan Buddhist center, is the North American Seat of Drepung Gomang Monastery in India, the home of the touring monks. In addition, and under the inspiration of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and universal human values, DGCEC is a Compassion Education Center. Its programs, events and classes teach the practice of loving-kindness, engaged compassion, nonviolence, meditation, peacemaking and interfaith understanding using perspectives accessible to people of all or no religious tradition. For more information please visit DGCEC at 411 N. Hubbards Lane, Louisville, KY 40207, or