A mandala, or sacred circle, is a representation of the Buddhist universe. Comprised of symbolic colors, lines, and geometric forms representing all realms of existence, mandalas are used in Tantric Buddhist meditation and initiation rites. The creation of a mandala is believed to benefit all beings, and the time and space it requires is consecrated through prayer, ritual music, and performance.This mandala was created over four weeks by a team of monks in-residence at the museum in 1991. It honors the 1.2 million Tibetans who lost their lives to political-religious persecution during the 20th century.The museum thanks the Tibetan American Foundation of Minnesota for bringing the Gyuto monks to Minnesota and for their efforts to preserve Tibetan cultural traditions.A video showing the creation of this mandala plays continuously on the monitor on the east side of this gallery. For additional information about the making and meaning of the mandala, visit www.artsmia.org/art-of-asia/buddhism/.