Monday, March 14, 2016

My mandala week

So, I write about miniatures so often in this blog, I frequently neglect some of my other nerdy enthusiasms.  But I here confess to being an art nerd, so it was a thrill for me when the Art Department at my school invited a Buddhist monk named Losang Samten to create a sand mandala in our school over the course of a week. Losang told us that his mandala signified "compassion," and he took plenty of time to talk and meditate and joke with teachers and students.  He's sort of like Yoda with better grammar.  The gamer in me noticed how much the mandala resembled a landscape--it was far more textured than I realized.  It was very easy to get lost in its elegant contours.

I thought it was funny that Losang used dyes from the craft store, where I buy my terrain paints.  The natural earth colors he obtains from Sedona, where the Rabuck clan will be visiting in a week..

And people say that painting miniatures takes patience!

At the end of the week, Losang and some of the younger students destroyed the mandala.  Don't get too attached to material things (unless they're your best painted minis. I'm pretty sure Buddha allowed an exception for those).

We carried the colored sand in a procession across campus...

...and dumped it into the Wissahickon Creek.  Losang is 75% of the way across the photo, and you can see a thin trail of sand falling into the water.  What a cool thing to experience, and what great relief to be able to visit the mandala in a busy and stress-filled week.

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