One day I watched a Buddhist monk patiently
conceive and construct a sand mandala,
carefully selecting grain after grain and,
with great concentration, create a work of wonder.
It was a process I’ll never forget;
each grain of sand selected with a stylus,
and its worth determined by its size and
texture and color and fitness for the design.
After several days of incredible focus
and labor, the work was completed and
the monk announced that the following day
he would take his creation to a sacred spot
and empty this circle of sand, meditate
and move on to his next project, accepting
without question, the impermanence of the
product of his skill, concentration and patience.
One day I watched each wave at Folly Cove Landing
slowly and with great concentration grind
pieces of granite on the shore into grains
of sand that will, in time, become a lovely beach .
This, too, I thought, will take a long time,
in that, like the mandala, each grain must
be a perfect fit, one matched with hue and tone
to create a pattern of harmony and peace.
Then one day the wind will scatter the sand
and the sea will engulf the shore and
no more will this circle of sand exist –
disbursed and annulled by its maker’s hand.
Click here for photo of the monk working on the mandala.