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Beautiful Buddhist Mandalas From Around The World (PHOTOS)

First Posted: 07/09/11 12:30 PM ET   Updated: 09/08/11 06:12 AM ET

The Dalai Lama is in Washington D.C. from July 6-16, leading a gathering of thousands of Buddhists through the "Kalachakra for World Peace." Central to the kalachakra ritual is the design and creation of a mandala.

HuffPost blogger Matteo Pistono explains:

Central to the bestowing of the Kalachakra initiation is the creation of a mandala. "Mandala" literally means "center and circumference" and in the tantric context connotes a circular diagram symbolizing a universe with a deity in the center of his or her palace complete with entourage, gatekeepers, and a surrounding environment. Mandalas are painted on cloth and temple walls, created from colored sand, or fashioned from wood, stone or colored threads.

We've collected pictures of several beautiful mandalas, created by Buddhist monks in different locations around the world. Enjoy!

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  • Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.

    Tibetan Buddhist monks work on a mandala, January 20, 2002 at the Smithsonian Arthur M. Sackler Gallery in Washington, DC. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

  • Broward Library, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida

    A Tibetan monk works on creating a mandala at the Broward County Main Library February 6, 2007 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

  • National Mall, Washington, D.C.

    A monk from the Drepung Loseling Monastery in Tibet works on a mandala at the National Mall during the last weekend of the 36th Annual Smithsonian Folklife Festival 'The Silk Road' in Washington, DC, 06 July 2002. (Photo by Hiroko Masuike/Getty Images)

  • Rubin Museum of Art, New York

    Lama Karma Tenzin, a Bhutanese monk, creates a sand mandala December 31, 2008 at the Rubin Museum of Art in New York. (Photo by Stan Honda/Getty Images)

  • Hamburg, Germany

    Tibetan nuns pray 22 June 2003 in Hamburg's ethnographical Museum, in front of a mandala made of colored sand. (Photo by Roland Magunia/Getty Images)

  • Bangalore, India

    Tibetan Buddhist monks prepare a mandala during an exhibition at the Thank You India Festival in Bangalore on November 23, 2009. (Photo by Dibyangshu Sarkar/Getty Images)

  • Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.

    Maroon-robed Buddhist monks spread colored sand across a mandala at Washington's Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Friday Aug. 7, 1998 to help explain a 1,000-year-old system of medicine. (Photo by Khue Bui / AP Photo)

  • Prague Museum, Czech Republic

    Tibetan monks create a mandala at the Prague Museum, Czech Republic on Tuesday March 7, 2006. (Photo by Petr David Josek / AP Photo)

  • Bremen, Germany

    Four Tibetan nuns create a mandala at the Overseas Museum in Bremen, northern Germany, Friday, Nov. 4, 2005. (AP Photo/Joerg Sarbach)

  • Rostov-on-Don, Russia

    A Buddhist monk from Gyudmed Monastery creates a mandala in a museum in Rostov-on-Don, about 1,000 kilometers south of Moscow, Thursday, Feb. 8, 2007. (AP Photo/Sergei Venyavsky)

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Filed by Bryan Maygers  |