Peace Mandala 2

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The finished mandala was beautiful and perfect.  Much care and devotion went into it. 

 

 

The red petals of the "flower" each have a symbol on them, dharma wheel, flaming sword, lotus flower, wish fulfilling jewels and dorje.  These represent the five families of the Buddha.  

Click here to download a short video clip of the dharma wheel being made.

 

On the outer corners, is a symbol that is a combination of the dorje, which represents wisdom, and the moon, which represents compassion.  This is an important symbol because it reminds us that too much of one thing is bad- we need to remember balance.  Wisdom without compassion or compassion without wisdom are not good, with balance and a combination of the two, we are better off.  Also on the outer edge are flowers.

 

 

The monks brought an interpreter with them this year.  She was a Tibetan woman with a lovely accent and smile!  She patiently explained things and answered question and interpreted for the monks.  One of the things she explained to people was that the mandala isn't actually flat, the lines are actually raised piles of sand.

 

When the mandala was finished, the monks did some chants and prayers.  The sound of these are hard to describe, sort of eerily timeless.  After the chants and prayers, the head monk walks around the mandala and takes a pinch of sand from each of the symbols representing the five Buddha families.  Then he takes his dorje and makes straight line cuts through the sand.  At this point it's all done and the only thing left is to sweep up the sand.  

Click here to download a short video of the sweeping of the mandala (I apologize for it's being sideways, little did I realize I couldn't edit it to fix that!).

 

So once again, we saw the monks make a beautiful and devotional thing, and then prove to us westerners that nothing lasts forever.  The Buddhist idea of impermanence was shown again.  Such an important lesson!  

Now go see the Cham!

 

2004 Bud Bennett