The Tibetan monks carry out a ritual that in the West might seem absurd: they spend hours and hours, which become days and even weeks, folded on a work surface on which they deposit with extreme patience and care small grains of sand of different colors. Thus they form complex figures that give life to a beautiful mandala.
One of the main purposes of drawing these intricate symbolic patterns is to draw the community into meditation and raise awareness that there is something greater than the small world we live in. However, when the monks finish the mandala, they immediately destroy the precious work that took so long. They scatter the grains of sand in the water to return to the earth, where they come from. And they celebrate it! Because behind that ceremony there is a very powerful message.
Why do we have to break away?
The message behind the mandala ceremony is that nothing is permanent. Absolutely nothing. Everything flows. The mandala is a representation of the world and the transitory nature of material life that reminds monks that nothing is permanent except change, as the Greek philosopher Heraclitus warned 2.500 years ago.
“In the end, everything disappears from life. That's all, ”Aditya Ajmera said. Due to the ephemeral nature of what surrounds us, we must learn not to cling to things, even the most beautiful or touching ones. In fact, our tendency to cling to goods and / or people is a major cause of our suffering and frustration.
Assuming that everything is eternal or immutable means that, sooner or later, life will show us - in the worst possible way - that we are wrong. Because in reality, life is a continuous flow marked by new acquisitions and losses.
The act of destroying the mandala not only encourages monks to free themselves from attachment to objects, but also - and most importantly - from attachment to their achievements. When we are too attached to what we have done or achieved, our spiritual growth begins to atrophy as we identify more and more with the past, with an old "me" that prevents us from taking advantage of what the future holds.
If our hands are too full of the past, we cannot embrace the future. That is why we must learn to enjoy the path, letting go of what we have done or achieved to embrace new projects that allow us to continue learning and growing, so that our "I" can continue to evolve.
We need to practice radical acceptance more, to understand that everything in life comes and goes. What looks perfect today may turn out to be imperfect tomorrow. And viceversa. Not accepting it implies being perpetually at war with reality, as if we choose to live in an illusory world that reflects how we would like things to be, but not how they are.
It's about not getting stuck in a moment in life just because we thought it was perfect or because we felt safe and comfortable. We have to let go of the past to enjoy the journey again. We shouldn't wait for the perfect wave, but learn to surf what life has in store for us.