Saturday, January 12

A nice article on the Mepkin Trappist monastery in South Carolina.
Here's an article from the Washington Post about some Buddhist monks making a mandala. A couple of years ago, a small group of Buddhist nuns came to Fort Wayne and made a mandala on the floor of the art museum. I went and watched them - it was fascinating. The basic instrument they use to make the design is a metal cone -sort of like a pastry tube shape, which holds the sand. The tube has ridges on the outside, and they run a stick up and down the ridges to control the flow of the sand coming out the end. There is of course, chanting going on the whole time. A noisily peaceful process.

After the mandala was constructed, they swept it up, put the sand in a bowl and took it to the St. Mary's River and dumped it out, expressing, of course, the impermanence of life. There are a couple of Buddhist monks around town, and I can't figure out why or where they are. There's one I've seen twice - at the post office, and walking in Foster Park, the big park across the road from us. I've seen another at the grocery store. Nothing quite stands out like a bald Tibetan in a saffron robe among a pack of well-fed Hoosiers.

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