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The White Tara Mandala

You may have noticed Paul’s giant Buddha pictures from his current travels. I offer up another image of Buddha, in this case a sand mandala that represents the White Tara, a female form of Buddha that represents wisdom and enlightenment. Over the weekend some friends and I went to see the completed mandala, which was created over the course of several days by Tibetan monks at the Michael C. Carlos Museum. The viewing was very crowded, so I only got a glimpse of the finished work. A closing ceremony took place, and the sand was then swept up and scattered into a small creek behind the museum.

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I've seen a few of these ceremonies. The scattering of the sands - by the same monks who spent days/weeks on their hands and knees putting it together - what an amazingly powerful thing to witness. "The attachment to artifacts will cause us to lose our peace of mind and will create more suffering."

Isn't it also interesting that there wasn't a violent response to the Taliban's destruction of the Bamyan statues and other Buddhist artifacts in Afghanistan? It was decried, but there wasn't a call for retaliation from the buddhist world - at least I didn't see any such statements. Yay Buddha, Go Buddha!

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