A monk walked around a board decorated with a multicolored sand design, ringing a bell. The estimated 300 patrons at the Mark Twain Library (CT) inched closer, trying to get a last look at the mandala art, which featured symbols from different religions, the American flag, the Buddhist flag, the library’s logo and the words “One World, Keep Peace.”
The monk picked up pieces of the sand and put them in a glass carried by another monk, ringing the bell again. He used a tool to create lines through the sand at each side and corner before the other monks moved forward with brushes in hand. The audience gasped as the monks swept away the sand, destroying the design so only the carvings of the symbols remained on the wood.
“Let it go with a long breath,” the monk said as the crowd sighed with him. “We’ve done it a long time, so no emotion here because we can rebuild it.” “I have to learn that,” a woman in the crowd said.
The monks had been working on this design since Wednesday, but destroyed it in a ceremony Sunday afternoon to symbolize one of the main tenants of Buddhism: impermanence.