Two visiting monks from the Drepung Loseling Phukhang Monastery work on the mandala they and four of their colleagues built in December 2012 at Pacific Unitarian Church in Rancho Palos Verdes, California. The monk on the right is using a chakpur, a funnel with which he adds sand to an outer section of the mandala. Rasping the metal rod over the ridges on the outside of the chakpur precisely controls the flow of sand, directing it exactly where it’s needed. The monk on the left is using a metal tool to incise swirling patterns on the outer sections of the mandala.
Here the mandala is nearing its final form. It almost completely covers the skeletal outline, which the monks drew on the table in grease pencil as the first step of construction. Small sections of that outline are visible on the outer edge of the solid white white outer sections at the four o’clock and eight o’clock positions.