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Tibetan Buddhist Sand Mandalas - Like raising your children

Monday, October 24, 2005


It occurs to me that raising and living with your children (especially for homeschooling families), if done well, is a bit like the Tibetan Buddhist Sand Mandala ritual. link link

(Learn more about this and the Tibetan Buddhist monks who travel the world to bring compassionate and beautiful Tibetan Buddhism to those of us who cant go to Tibet.) (super cool video of the process!)

Tibetan Buddhist monks train for weeks and months, meditating on a certain message and "type" of Buddha to "bring to life" in a mandala sand painting. They then render the mandala on a board with tubes that guide the sand into patterns. In earlier times, Tibetan Monks used ground precious stones like rubies, sapphires, and pearls. Other monks are chanting prayers so that, as the ritual of making the mandala proceeds, the Compassionate Intention emanates into the neighboring world. At the end of the ritual, the sand is scattered, collected, small amounts given to people watching and also used to bless nearby rivers and other things which need to be purified by Compassionate Intension and Love. (The whole world in my view).

How is this like raising kids? Do I really have to answer?! :-) Each child is a beautiful and infinite possibility matrix who, with our love and compassion and teaching, manifests in the world all of the goodness and right that flows from ourselves. Their complexity makes them unique in every way and that complexity should be honored, celebrated, seen, allowed to grow, and allowed to be as colorful as possible. The sand of our children is exquisitely precious, way beyond ground pearls and rubies.

But most beautiful and grand is that our little human madalas are not blown apart but must be allowed to exist on their own, freed to affect the world in wonderful and unpredictable ways.

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2:16 PM :: 2 comments links to this post

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2 Comments:
  • I have always been amazed at these creations: the patience, the attention to detail, the vision. How correct you are that they share so many similarities to "true" parenting!

    By Blogger Mother Crone's Homeschool, at 10:37 AM  
  • Yeah, I could stare at these things for days, would like to see one in RL one day!

    It struck me out of the blue (enlightenment - I am a student of zen) that there is an idea-connection between the whole mandala ritual and raising our kids. Thankfully we do not have to erase the children from our minds, just let them live their lives and then hug their kids! (I have a 2 year old so I am getting a bit ahead of myself there :-))

    By Blogger nika, at 9:12 AM  
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