May 24, 2007
Toddler’s dance destroys monks’ intricate sand painting
Thanks to Dave Csonka for passing this along:
Talk about a test of faith.
Eight Tibetan monks spent two days cross-legged on the floor at Union Station, leaning over to meticulously create an intricate design of colored sand as an expression of their Buddhist faith. They were more than halfway done.
And then, within seconds, their work was destroyed by a toddler.
Monks are bald, so they couldn’t rip their hair out. But were they angry? Did they curse?
No. They simply smiled and started over.
“No problem,” said Geshe Lobsang Sumdup, leader of the group from the Drepung Gomang Monastery in southern India.
The whole story is at KansasCity.com.
These sand mandalas are intended to be demonstrations of — and trainings in — impermanence anyway. Monks spend days making very elaborate patterns by pouring sand, and then they ritually destroy the image, often pouring the sand into water. So that Lama Sumdup was unfazed by the artwork’s premature demise was a sign that the practice was working as planned.