Ben's Blog

A Story

Presented with no context

Nov 21, 2023

Some years ago, there was a Tibetan monk named Lobsang, who from a young age could construct perfect sand mandalas. People would come from thousands of miles away to watch him carefully laying out the sand, day after day, not saying a word and only pausing to sleep, or to sit and have a cup of butter tea. It was work that would normally be done by a team of monks in turn, but which he preferred to do alone.

One day, his teacher came to him, telling him, “Lobsang, one of your mandalas has been sitting on the table for nearly a month. Many visitors have come to see it’s beauty, and are wondering when you will begin the destruction ceremony.”

“But,” said Lobsang, “you find it beautiful?”

His teacher was astonished.

“How can you not see it’s beauty? It surpasses anything I have ever seen before.”

Lobsang sat and sipped his tea for a few moments. Finally he said,

“I never noticed how the whole thing looked. I created it because I needed to create it, and now that it is finished I myself am being swept away.”

A sand mandala