Hello, and happy Monday to you!
Friday afternoon, I had the very special pleasure of attending a Mandala dissolution ceremony honoring the Compassion Buddha. Monks from the Ngari Institute spent three days creating this exquisitely fine and intricate work of art. It was then swept into a pile, distributed among attendees (anyone who so desired), with the remains scattered into Monument Creek.
Why destroy something so beautiful, you may ask? To show the importance of sharing compassion with all beings and reflect the impermanence of life. It also encouraged everyone in attendance (and the world) to let, just as we do each breath that comes, every little thing, joyful, beautiful, sad, and angry, GO. To the winds. To the water. Let it ALL go.
Before the ceremony, I had the privilege to sit with one of the monks and ask about the mandala. It was quite fascinating! The mandala is a two dimensional representation of a three dimensional house or temple, with the Compassion Buddha at the center. Each of the four directions is represented, with food and flowers offered to the Buddha. The copper cups hold water, two of which for cleansing (the mouth and feet), the third, with an added flower, for perfuming the body. This is an offering of our best selves to the Compassion Buddha. The water also represented rain; as rain falls, it cleanses the body, not only of grime, but of unhealthy thoughts and patterns in the mind. The more it is cleansed, the more it benefits the individual and the world, spreading compassion to our minds and others. So wonderful!