Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Mandala Of Compassion

The mandala is a two-dimensional representation of a three-dimensional reality, the ultimate form being the fortress of the inner cosmos. This fortress exists within our minds, and is a fortress we must one day tear down.

The mandala is designed with a complicated series of designs and symbols, each with its own distinct meaning and history. Many mandala are based on the sacred geometry of the Buddha's form in the position of enlightenment. The sand mandala is made with sand, with is added in a small stream to form the individual symbols and designs. Typically, four monks will work at once on the sand mandala, one on each point of the four directions. A special tool is used to sift the sand and make the mandala. As the design takes shape, we begin to see the mandala in our minds. At the completion it is hard to believe it was ever sand. Looking at all the intricate designs, one might think it was a painting or print that would last forever. But it doesn't. We don't want them to destroy it. Afterall, it took them three days or more to make it. This is essence of wrong view.

With one stroke of the dorje, the mandala is scarred, and with it, the image in ours minds. You see, the sand is sand, was sand, and will be sand. The red sand was red sand, is red sand, and will be red sand. The blues, yellows, oranges, and all other colors of sands will remain as they are. The mandala is a formation of our mind, just as the only destruction that takes place is in our minds as well.

Nothing has changed!

Observe a mandala and find one piece of sand that no longer exists after the mandala has been "destroyed." We know this will not occur. The destruction of the mandala is similiar to the story of the monks viewing the waving flag. One monk says that the flag is moving. The other monk says that the wind is moving. Hui neng, the 6th Patriarch of Chan Buddhism, approaches them and says, "No, mind is moving."

We are all like the mandala. This body is something we have put together in our minds. Time is the same. Trees, wealth, status, language, furniture, science, art, highways; these are nothing but bits of sand that will one day be swept into the sea, just as the sand of the mandala was poured into the sea to the sounds of the Tibetan horn and chant. Better to listen to the sound and say goodbye.


At 5:56 AM, Blogger Regine said...

hi, in Norway it is Christianity.


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