Last week over the course of five days, a group of Buddhist monks constructed a Sand Mandala in a lobby of the Googleplex, using brightly colored sand they had ground and prepared by hand. Quoting from the description provided by the monks, "This work of art is meant to depict a picture of the world in its divine form, and represents a map by which the ordinary human mind is transformed into the enlightened mind."
The Mandala also represents the impermanence of all things. On friday in a dissolution ceremony, the Mandala was swept away. The sand used in its construction, and all of the energy it contains, was cast into a body of water as an offering to the Naga. I took home a small bag of sand from this Mandala, which we cast into a lake near our house.
While they were here I got the opportunity to hear a talk and sit in meditation with one of the monks. I've tried meditation several times before, and it turns out that his mere presence didn't make it easier to maintain focus. Who knew? I guess I'll keep practicing.