Monday, October 18, 2010

The Haunting Sound of Chakpu Creating a Mandala

Walking around an eco festival in Manhattan, I happened to wander into a tent where a Tibetan sand mandala was being created. This process was being directed by an ordained Tibetan Buddhist monk named Lama Tenzin Yignyen. The scraping-like sound make by the long metal funnels used to place the sand precisely, called chakpu, was like nothing I had ever heard before, and only partially comes across in the video. 

Almost as soon as they finished this, they dumped the sand into the water, probably the Hudson River, which was only a few feet away from this table. Words that come to mind: transitory, compassion, disseminate, kindness, temporary, fleeting, ceremony, illusion, destruction, dismantling, this fleeting material world. Get up. Go ride.


  1. don't the Navajo do something very similiar?

    NYC, nice. I ran across the Brooklyn bridge a couple of times. Would be nice if you could ride across with your camera on. Nice boardwalk on top of the thing.

  2. FraSiec - well yes they do. So do the indigenous Australians. As for Brooklyn Bridge, one more thing left undone, for the next trip out there!


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