Construction and Destruction of a Mandala [4:45]


The video records the painstaking creation and final dismantling of an beautiful and intricate sand mandala by a large conference of Tibetan Buddhist monks, including the Dalai Lama.  Discussion of the philosophy behind the ritual is minimal, but this may leave more space open afterwards for discussion of patience, attachment, impermanence, desire, and other central Buddhist ideas.

Discussion Questions

  • Why do these monks work so hard only to destroy it?   What virtues and philosophy are they practicing?
  • What value is there in learning how to let things go?  Is there a downside to taking this value to an extreme?
  • If ‘everything is impermanent’ and constantly changing, does anything have value?  Or does this make things even more valuable?

Keywords: religion, Buddhism, art, patience, ritual, virtue, peace, mandala


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