COMPASSIONATE action and feminine energy will form the basis of a sand mandala being created at Bathurst Regional Art Gallery.
Bathurst residents have been invited to immerse themselves in Tibetan culture this week with three visiting monks.
The three monks were bought to Australia by Drol Kar Buddhist Centre for the Sacred Footsteps from the Roof of the World tour.
Spokesperson Choden Thubten said Tuesday's welcome ceremony featured a blessing and chanting by the three monks.
Audience members sat on Tibetan rugs alongside the monks who performed deep-growling chants not often heard outside Tibet.
"The chanting is prayers of refuge and also healing ... also for the Buddha to be here and bless the mandala," Ms Thubten said.
Following the welcome, the monks begun their long task of creating a mandala using crushed marble, which has been coloured with vegetable dye.
The project will take them six hours each day until Sunday to complete.
Ms Thubten said the intricate patterns of the mandala are deeply traditional, two-dimensional works.
The monks, who come from Gyume Tantric College in South India have memorised around 20 different mandala designs.
"It's all done from memory, they don't have a pattern to go by," Ms Thubten said.
For each location on their tour the monks select a mandala design that reflects what they think the town needs.
For their one-week stay in Bathurst they will create a Tara - the female representation of Buddha.
"She represents compassionate action and feminine energy," Ms Thubten said.
"This mandala brings peace, learning, contentment and the particular qualities of the Buddha they chose [Tara]."
"They feel that's what might be needed here."
This is the fourth time the monks have come to Bathurst with previous visits in 2005, 2007 and 2009.
Bathurst Regional Council education and public programs officer said more than 5000 people visited the gallery last time the monks were in Bathurst.
Members of the public are invited along to watch the monks complete the mandala this week.
There are also morning chanting and meditation sessions, guided meditations and a lecture called 'Introduction to Buddhism' all open to the public.
Daily (until Sunday, June 14)
► 8.00am - 8.30am: Guided meditations ($5 per person*), Friday, June 12 and Saturday, June 13.
► 10am - 10.30am: Morning chanting and meditation with monks (Sunday only: 11am - 11.30am).
► 10.30am - 5pm: Monks work on mandala (Sunday only: 11.30am - 2pm).
► 1pm: Lecture: Introduction to Buddhism ($5 per person*), Saturday 13 June.
► 2pm - 3pm: Sunday, June 14
*All proceeds are payable by cash only to the Geelong Drol Kar Buddhist Centre donation box in the gallery.