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Are you overly attached to your own designs?

I know full well how easy it is to be emotionally attached to one’s own design. It can feel like a personal attack to receive criticism because we poured our heart and soul into creating it, it comes from our unique individual point of view and is a very personal process to create.

Did you know that Tibetan Buddhist monks meticulously craft beautiful, intricate designs using coloured sand, only to dismantle them upon completion?

It is a unique form of art known as the sand mandala that transcends the boundaries of creation and destruction, embodying the profound teachings of Buddhism.

The process begins with a ceremony to consecrate the site. Monks then commence the laborious task of laying down millions of grains of sand. They use special tools to funnel the sand into delicate patterns that represent the universe and its deities. The creation of a sand mandala can take several weeks, symbolizing the painstaking nature of life’s journey.

Once the mandala is complete, the monks engage in rituals and viewings, after which they ceremoniously sweep away the sand. This act serves as a powerful reminder of life’s transitory nature and the importance of non-attachment. The sands are often dispersed in a river, signifying the return of the material to the natural world, and a prayer for the healing of the planet.

The creation and destruction of sand mandalas captures the essence of the Buddhist belief in impermanence. Every grain of sand contributes to the whole, yet no single grain is the focus. It’s a lesson in the fleeting nature of material life and the eternal flow of the universe.

Tibetan sand mandalas are more than just art; they are a meditation on life, a celebration of the universe’s beauty, and a poignant reminder that nothing material lasts forever. In their creation and destruction, monks teach us to appreciate the present moment and to let it go, for in the end, all returns to the source.

I feel like there is a lot of merit to considering embracing the concept of impermanence when working in any field of creation, whether it’s design, fine arts, cooking, landscaping, carpentry, the list goes on.

To me it’s not about giving up on caring and just throwing away something beautiful, it’s more about embracing and enjoying the present moment whilst also knowing that it won’t last forever, and that's OK.