Losang Samten’s intricate sand paintings carry many kinds of meanings. Mandalas represent aspects of the universe. Samten says, “First and foremost these mandalas are a form of communication through art. They tell stories that have meaning for Tibetans and other Buddhists, and for humanity in general. The witnessing of patience in the creative process helps observers find patience and perseverance within themselves.” “The Wheel of Life” mandala is shaped around a base of images representing acknowledgement and rejection of anger, greed and ignorance – three poisons in human existence.
Helping observers focus on ways to avoid these poisons, the ‘painting’ of ‘The Wheel of Life’ reinforces Buddhist notions of impermanence and rebirth, and the potential within each person for compassion and joy. If we distance ourselves from anger, greed, and ignorance, this design shows us, in this life and in future existences we’ll have opportunities to learn how to improve ourselves as well as to help others enhance the quality of their lives.