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Mandala Harmony

Tess Burrows
|
2020
|
Jul 16, 2020

You know those jobs that never seem to get finished...

30 years ago my son Scott and I decided to do a 6,000 piece jigsaw puzzle. It was to represent a Tibetan sand mandala which we had just seen being made.

Sand mandalas are beautiful works of art, exquisitely and painstakingly created by monks over a number of weeks. Tiny grains of coloured sand are carefully tapped down little wooden half-pipes producing intricate, three-dimensional mandala patterns. Mandalas in the Tibetan tradition, created in many forms from wall hangings to monastery layouts, are used in meditation and are said to water the seeds of compassion.

A sand mandala always has a specific focus, for example world peace. The monks hold strong positive intentions as they work. But the over-riding end-purpose is to help accept transience - impermanence - that all things, however precious, move on. The idea is that when finished the creation is swept up and chucked in the nearest river. This carries the blessings onwards...

Our jigsaw symbolising a sand mandala had to be done on the kitchen table. the only place big enough. It was to become the most permanent thing in the house! Over the next 30 years, with all the busy-ness of bringing up a family, collecting peace messages to take to far points of the planet, raising funds for charity and writing books about the adventures, there never seemed to be much jigsaw time!

Recently lockdown has given me the space to work on this inside adventure bringing stillness and concentration in the here and now. I finally took the lid off my kitchen table where this mountain scene in the Dolomites has been waiting patiently to be finished! There was all the green of the trees still to do.... the hardest bit. The focus we had set with this jigsaw was harmony. As each impossible piece fell into place, I imagined putting a little bit of the world back together bringing another small bit of harmony to the whole.

This is an auspicious time to let go of the past and move on. But..... hold on...there is one bit missing! (ONLY one after 30 years of hanging about with 3 sons and 5 grandchildren is not bad!). I guess the need for working on harmony continues...

Unfinished business?

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Tess Burrows
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