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Childlike lessons in impermanence

I’ve been following this story for a few days now, ever since my friend Gregg T. told me about it. Apparently, those darned Tibetan monks were busy in Kansas City’s Union Station making one of their famous sand mandalas. These amazing constructions are composed entirely of colored sand, and take an extraordinary amount of time, energy, and concentration to complete. Almost too horribly for words, the normal progression of events dictates that sand mandalas are destroyed on completion, swept up and then deposited in a moving body of water. As a lesson in impermanence, it’s graceful, beautiful, and elegant. Very adult.


Then, some eight-year old terror decided he knew a few things about impermanence too – and he slipped into the display area and did a bit of a jig, rendering all the work thus completed worthless. The monks are starting over. And typical of those who spend their time searching for upekha (equanimity), their response was beautiful:

“No problem,” Geshe Lobsang Sumdup, leader of the group from the Drepung Gomang Monastery in southern India, said through a translator. “We didn’t get despondent. We have three days more. So we will have to work harder.”

[From BoingBoing, citing SFGate.com]

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3 thoughts on “Childlike lessons in impermanence

  1. palindrome says:

    I giggled when I read this. I could see my toddler pulling this off. Glad the see that the monks get it.

  2. ProfPD says:

    I think the thing that was more horrifying than this kid destroying the work is how long it took the mom to come get him. Where was she?

  3. Well, she did get there pretty fast, and it’s not a museum – apparently she was dropping something off at the post office. The entire thing was captured on security video camera. I finally found a file of it on youtube, but I won’t post the link here, because the video was posted by an unbelievably foul white supremacist who has appropriated the event for his own slimy purposes. If a different file shows up I’ll post a link here.

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