This year has already brought many wonderful gifts, including beautiful mandalas arriving in my life. The first appeared when my sister from California presented a hand-painted art mandala she purchased during her trek to Base Camp at Mount Everest in the Himalayas. Within a few days of my receiving this mandala, I also became aware of a visiting group of Tibetan monk refugees from India’s Drepung Gomang Monastery (DrepungGomang.org). They were creating a Medicine Buddha sand mandala at the Sun Dog Yoga studio, in Doylestown. Grains of colored sand were painstakingly hand laid into place over a pre-planned sketch for an exquisite result. These may be created over a period of days or even months.
We were very fortunate to witness both the completion and ultimate deconstruction of the sand mandala. My children were mesmerized by the project and happily received a blessing by one of the monks. The deconstruction acts as a metaphor for the impermanence of life. Afterwards, the sand was swept up and placed in an urn. Part of the sand was distributed to the audience and the remainder was carried to a creek, where the flowing water signifies how the blessing is carried and spread throughout the world for planetary healing.
I’ve learned that many different kinds of mandalas teach different lessons and confer specific blessings. The Medicine Buddha, for example, represents physical and mental healing, addressing emotions such as anger, pride and jealousy. The monks request its blessings of healing for all beings and collectively pray for peace and harmony in the world.
Our February issue, centered on the themes of Enlightened Relationships and Healing from Grief, carries my wish for you of felt wholeness of heart. Love heals all hearts and if yours is currently troubled or broken, I pray that you find sources of solace and help within these pages. May your hearts feel clean, warmed and whole, Audrey