Imagine the amount of patience that's required to create such highly detailed art such as this! To promote healing and world peace, a group of Tibetan Buddhist monks, from the Drepung Loseling Monastery in India, travel the world creating incredible mandalas using millions of grains of sand. For days or even weeks, the monks spend up to eight hours a day working on one mandala sand painting, pouring multicolored grains of sand onto a shared platform until it becomes a spectacular piece of art.
Each work begins as a drawing, the outline of the mandala. Then, colored sand is poured from traditional metal funnels called chak-purs. Each monk holds a chak-pur in one hand, while running a metal rod on its grated surface; the vibration causes the sands to flow like liquid. It is almost as if they are truly painting.
A sand-painted mandala serves as a spiritual symbol. Shortly after it is made, it's deconstructed. The destruction serves as a metaphor of the impermanence of life. As it states on the Drepung Loseling Monastery's website, "The sands are swept up and placed in an urn; to fulfill the function of healing, half is distributed to the audience at the closing ceremony, while the remainder is carried to a nearby body of water, where it is deposited. The waters then carry the healing blessing to the ocean, and from there it spreads throughout the world for planetary healing."
The Tibetan Buddhist monks from the Drepung Loseling Monastery are currently in Dallas, Texas at the Crow Collection of Asian Art. During their week-long residency, they will complete one of these sacred sand mandalas.
In 1971. Bossier City, Louisiana. A teenage girl finds out she’s pregnant with her second child. She’s a high school drop out. A single mom. But against all odds, she manages to make a better life for herself and her children. She teaches them to be creative. To work hard. And reach for the impossible. That girl is my mother and she’s here tonight. Mom, I love you thank you for teaching me to dream.
To my brother, Shannon. Thank you for sharing the incredible adventure with me that is Thirty Seconds To Mars. You are a true artist and the best big brother in the world.To all the dreamers around the world watching this right now, from the Ukraine to Venezuela – We think of you as you struggle to bring to life the dreams that fill your heart. The impossible is possible, and we believe.
To the amazing Focus Features, Jean Marc. Matthew. Jennifer. The entire Dallas Buyers team. Mick Sullivan. Jim Toth. Robin Baum. Jason Weinberg. Emma Ludbrook and Cali Adams. Thank you for the faith.
This is for the 36 million brave souls who lost their lives to AIDS.
And to anyone who ever felt injustice because of who they are or who they love. Tonight, I stand before the world, with you and for you.
Once upon a time, I was a comfort addict, too.
Whenever I would read anything that said, “Ditch your comfort and follow your passion!” I would recoil in horror. What the hell kind of life is that? Constantly freaking out, rushing from place to place, stressing out all the time? Sure, it might be exciting, even fun, but I need my nice quiet evenings curled up in front of the computer playing adventure games and watching Midsomer Murders with Kyeli.
When I first heard of the book Book Yourself Solid, I thought “That sounds terrible! Phone ringing off the hook, always busy, stressing out about not having enough time, calendar so full of work work work that I have no ease, no comfort, no spaciousness.”
So I gingerly dipped my toes into the river of passion, never diving in. Sometimes wading, but never enough to get soaked, never venturing too far from the solid dry land of comfort.
Until one day I saw a dolphin bobbing up and down in the middle of the rushing river. I didn’t even think twice. I dove out to swim with the dolphin – into the center, into the rapids, swimming as if my life depended on it. Three days I swam with the dolphin. I slept, I ate, I did the little things that needed to get done – but my heart was always in the river with the dolphin.
On the fourth day, it was time for the dolphin to return to her pod. I came back to the shore, dripping wet from head to toe to cute pink underwear. I returned to my solid routines, my comfort, my videogames and Netflix… and I realized something that would change my life forever.
Comfort is good! Comfort is important. It’s an important part of a healthy diet. But if it’s all you ever eat, your heart is not being fully nourished.
Is your foundation just sitting there empty? Have you built yourself a little Comfort Hut™ on top of it instead of a cathedral?
Do you find yourself clinging to comfort? Do you say to yourself, “I don’t want to do those wild crazy things because I value comfort, stability, and ease”? Or maybe your name for comfort is “spending time with my family” or “a steady paycheck” or “a stable home for my children”.
My dolphin was a short, intense project that took all my time and attention for three days. It was a project that required me to spend hours every day connecting with my heart, giving generously, being of service, reading super-sweet thank-you notes from grateful customers, and making ridiculous butt-tons of money.
I’m not telling you to leave your comfort behind. It’s awesome to have a solid home base for you to return to between adventures.
Venture out from your Comfort Hut™ once in a while and dip your toes into the mighty river of passion. Take comfort knowing that you get to pick, that you can return to your hut any time you wish.
Go wading. Try something new. Try something a little uncomfortable, knowing that it’s only temporary, only an experiment.
And when you see your dolphin, for heaven’s sake don’t let her swim away.
The Declaration of You is a book written by my friend Michelle Ward and someone else named Jessica Swift whom I’ve just recently met but she seems totally awesome. The book comes out this summer, and I’ll be sure to link to it when it’s available! It’s about permission to step onto your path, to follow your heart, and to live a passionate and wholehearted life. So obviously, I’m a fan. I wrote the following post for The Declaration of You’s BlogLovin’ Tour, which is a fun bloggy thing where 100 bloggers write about these topics that are so dear to my heart. You can read more here. And now, on to my post!
So many of us walk through the world in a trance, just going through the motions.
So many of us have been hurt deeply, long ago – so deeply that we’ve built walls around our hearts to protect ourselves.
So many of us feel disconnected, isolated, alone. Like there must be something wrong with us because we don’t fit in.
We’re told: “That’s just the way it is.”
And a few of us dare to ask, “Could it be different?”
We are the misfits, the nonconformists, the edgewalkers.
We are the visionaries, the rebels, the revolutionaries.
We are the ones who will change the world.
All those things that make you different? All those things you were teased about when you were young? All those things you’ve been marginalized for as an adult? All those things you’re afraid to open up and share for fear no one will love the real you?
Those things are your uniquity – your uniqueness.
Those things are not what make you flawed.
Those things are what make you you.
And there’s an amazing power in aligning the way you express yourself with the way you truly are.
When you’re living your life trying to meet others’ expectations, it’s like walking around with twenty-pound weights attached to your ankles. When you unmask yourself, the weights disappear. You feel so light you could fly! What used to be a struggle becomes ease and flow.
There’s a saying from the Feri tradition, “I would know myself in all my parts.”
So powerful. So important. And today I want to take it one step further: I would express myself in all my parts.”
Don’t keep your wonderful, amazing Self to yourself! Open up and let us know the real you!
What’s one thing you don’t usually share about yourself?