Saturday, 21 May 2016


One of the most famous practices of Tibetan Buddhist monks is the creation of intricate Sand Mandalas, which are believed to hold the powers of healing and purification.

The Mandala is a Sanskrit word meaning “Cosmogram” or “World in Harmony.” Mandalas are drawings in three-dimensional forms of sand.

There are many different mandalas, each with different lessons to teach and blessings to confer. In general, all mandalas have outer, inner, and secret representations. 

§  On the outer level they represent the world in its divine form
§  On the inner level, they represent a map by which the ordinary human mind is transformed into the enlightened mind
§  On the secret level, they predict the primordially perfect balance of the subtle energies of the body and the clear light dimension of the mind.

This is a unique tradition whereby Mandalas are made of millions of fine grains of colored sand. The creation of a sand mandala begins with an opening ceremony. First, the site is blessed with music and chants. A high-ranking priest chooses the location and the design. The artwork holds much symbolism, and is geometrically laid out in detail. It can take several days, even weeks to complete the Mandala. The monks wear masks so that their breath may not disturb the sand as they work. Fine tubes and other special tools are used to funnel and deposit the sand in just the right way, starting from the centre outward, and working quietly in shifts round the clock, with much concentration and attention. Buddhists believe that this this entire ritual releases healing energies of the Mandala to those witnessing it as well as to the surrounding environment.

The mandalas are being created whenever a need for healing of the environment and living beings is felt. The purpose is to call the community to meditation and awareness of something larger than their own small world. The monks are creating mandalas throughout their world tours.

Once the mandala is complete it is surrounded by candles, and there is often chanting performed around it. This is when everyone stands in awe at the beauty of this mandala, taking in its beauty, and expressing gratitude for having witnessed it.

The most amazing part is what happens once the Mandala is ready.

In a ritualistic ceremony, one monk stands and sweeps the Mandala away. The design is gone, the colors merge, and what is left is a pile of sand. This destruction of the Mandala is done as a metaphor of the impermanence of life. It is a reminder to us to appreciate and be in gratitude for what we have, while it is there. It is symbolic of the Buddhist doctrinal belief in the transitory nature of material life.

The sand is then swept and placed in an urn. A part of the sand is distributed to those watching the closing ceremony, highlighting the Buddhist belief in sharing its blessings. The rest of it is taken to a river or stream and ceremoniously poured into the flowing water in order to dispense the healing and purifying energies of the Mandala to the entire world.

So although the Mandala is no longer physically present in all its glory, yet it is serving a huge purpose. It teaches us that all things are in a flux, beautiful yet ephemeral, moving yet temporary, a plateau yet not a summit.

Isn’t it a reminder to all of us to rethink our resistance to change? We all keep dreaming of a permanent job, permanent relationship, permanent wealth, permanent health, permanent looks, permanent status, permanent fame……. We continue living in these myths in spite of witnessing the continuous change all around, be it in the cost of living, the stock market, relationships, currency evaluation, political scenario…. 

When will we learn to accept reality as it is!
When will we learn to just go with the flow!

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Sunday, 8 May 2016

Transform from BROKEN to NEWLY WHOLE....

In the 15th century, when the favorite tea-bowl of the Shogun Ashikaga Yoshimasa broke, he sent it to China for repair. It came back held together with unsightly metal staples. The Shogun was very disappointed, and challenged his own Japanese craftsmen to come up with a more pleasing means of repair. The potters decided to fill the cracks with lacquered resin and powdered gold. The same broken cup became a stunning work of art.
We mostly try to repair broken things in a way to conceal the repair, and make it ‘AS GOOD AS NEW’. The tea masters and potters understood that by repairing a broken bowl with the distinctive beauty of radiant gold, they could instead make it ‘BETTER THAN NEW’.
The bowl’s unique fault lines were transformed into little rivers of gold that made it even more special. Now the bowl was uniquely beautiful. A radical physical transformation from BROKEN to NEWLY WHOLE, from USELESS to PRICELESS.

We all get broken, hurt, wounded in some way or the other in life. These are essential ingredients in the journey of life. Some broken relationships, friendships that went awry, some disappointments in our goals, unfulfilled dreams, vulnerable moments, etc. Nobody has ever been able to escape going through them at different points in their life. All that matters is how we choose to conduct ourselves while dealing with them.
Do we get stuck? Or do we allow ourselves to be consumed with anger, hatred, or maybe guilt, self-pity, or martyrdom, or just be in denial that its happening? Whichever route we may choose, end of the day something is broken inside us. We cease to feel whole and complete. There is a sense of lack, a disappointment with ourselves or with the other. The concern is that the cracks may now show. Our image is at stake...
We are focused on making our life AS GOOD AS NEW, but does that happen? Mostly we are busy blaming someone or something for what happened.
Instead if we observe, those are the moments that have invariably made us stronger, more resilient, compassionate, brave, understanding and wiser. They have even pushed us to go into the uncharted waters, and often surprised us with our own abilities.
Moving into gratitude to those experiences allows us to heal ourselves, and see the beauty of those cracks and scars which have now transformed us from feeling BROKEN to NEWLY WHOLE.....

# FifthElement  #LifeCoaching  #LeadershipMentoring  #FengShuiConsultant   #GoBeyondYourself  #BeUnstoppable