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Toddler takes out Tibetan monks' meticulous sand design

Toddler takes out Tibetan monks' meticulous sand design

The little boy who toddled into Kansas City's train station behind his mother spotted the pretty pile of colored sand on the floor and could not resist. Slipping under a protective rope, he danced all over the sand, ruining the carefully crafted picture.
Never mind that it was the creation of eight Tibetan monks who had spent two days cross-legged on the floor, meticulously pouring the sand into an intricate design as an expression of their Buddhist faith.
They were more than halfway done with the design _ called a mandala _ on Tuesday when they ended their labors for the day and left. The little boy showed up sometime later with his mother, who was taking a package to the post office inside the vast hall.
"He did a little tap dance on it, completely destroying it," said Lama Chuck Stanford, of Kansas City's Rhime Buddhist Center. A security tape shows the boy's mother returning to the mandala, grabbing her son by the arm and walking out of camera range.
And how did the monks react when they beheld the destruction Wednesday?
"No problem," Geshe Lobsang Sumdup, leader of the group from the Drepung Gomang Monastery in southern India, said through a translator. "We didn't get despondent. We have three days more. So we will have to work harder."
There are thousands of patterns of mandalas. The one these monks are working on represents Chenrezig, the bodhisattva of compassion.
Traditionally, monks create a mandala to mark the new year.
To start, they put brightly colored sand into a metal funnel called a chakbu and rub it gently to distribute the sand. When they have finished the mandala they sweep up the sand and deposit it into a river.
The monks are on a yearlong tour of the United States and Canada to raise money for their monastery; the original in Tibet was destroyed by the Chinese. The same group has visited Kansas City in the past, making mandalas at Union Station.
During a ceremony Saturday afternoon, the monks will sweep up the sand and offer bits to onlookers to place in their gardens. The rest of the sand will be placed in the Missouri River.
"The belief is that it will carry the blessings all over the planet, from the Missouri River to the Mississippi to the gulf and to all the oceans of the world," Stanford said.


Updated : 2021-10-20 23:52 GMT+08:00