On Sunday morning I did something rather unusual. I joined 2 other Collingtonians and went to the Cedar Lane Unitarian Universalist Church in Bethesda. I was motivated by the opportunity to participate in a spiritual experience that was offered by the Tibetan Buddhist Monks from the Drepung Loseling Monastery. The Monastery was reestablished in South India by escapee monks after the Chinese invaded Tibet and killed or imprisoned others.
The monks, endorsed by the Dalai Lama, are touring the country to promote world peace and healing. At Cedar Lane they laid down millions of vibrantly colored grains of sand to create a mandala sand painting. Formed of a traditional prescribed iconography that includes geometric shapes and a multitude of ancient spiritual symbols, the sand-painted mandala is used as a tool for re-consecrating the earth and its inhabitants. The monks constructed the mandala between August 23rd and and August 26th.
The day included an incredibly moving ceremony that included blessings, chanting, a guided meditation, gleanings from ancient and contemporary wisdoms, and a dedication prayer.
Perhaps most moving for me was the deconstruction of the mandala. This was done as a metaphor of the impermanence of life. The sands were swept up and placed in an urn. To fulfill the function of healing, half was distributed to the congregation while the remainder was carried to Rock Creek where it was deposited. The waters then carried the healing blessing to the ocean, and from there it spreads throughout the world for planetary healing. I can say that this was a once in a lifetime experience for me and that it was both mystical and transforming. The grains of sand I received will always be a reminder of the preciousness of each moment of this fleeting life of mine.
If you would like more information or would like to see their schedule you can visit their website at https://www.mysticalartsoftibet.org
Joe Howard and others have put up a wonderful collection of resources for shopping.
It should be emphasized that this is for informational purposes only. No endorsement should be implied.
Here is the list.
It is also reachable from the “getting around” tab on the top menu.
Nice NYT article on Ageing and Creativity.
It starts with research that shows how young minds are much more imaginative, but older folks are more traditional and limited when asked to explain things.
Buit, how about this:
But there was a different pattern when it came to the social problems. Once again the preschoolers were more likely to give the creative explanation than were the 6-year-olds or adults. Now, however, the teenagers were the most creative group of all. They were more likely to choose the unusual explanation than were either the 6-year-olds or the adults.
At least an argument for multi-generational input!
The explanation offered might help us think our way into a new vision of ageing:
The answer: Childhood and adolescence may, at least in part, be designed to resolve the tension between exploration and exploitation. Those periods of our life give us time to explore before we have to face the stern and earnest realities of grown-up life. Teenagers may no longer care all that much about how the physical world works. But they care a lot about exploring all the ways that the social world can be organized. And that may help each new generation change the world.
I like to think that, at our best, we are often just like teenagers, precisely because we are no longer responsible for everything. We can dream and imagine — but with the benefit of a lifetimes of learning, including our mistakes and unfulfilled dreams. So, as we move our community into a broader outreach and learning mode, maybe we are more ready than we realize. All we need is the practical support.
Any ideas for how to do the research to explore this? In our strategic plan?
Here it is:
Thanks to all who participated, organized, reflected, and edited.
Pink Hats Rule!
Here are three members of our staff, wearing pink hats knitted by residents from the Knitting Group, ready for the Women’s March on Washington tomorrow: Denina, Sonja and Krystal.
This fits in our strategic planning process under “Collington Culture,” “Outreach,” and “Development of Human Capital.”
Here are the hats at the March!
Every rainbow has pink in it!
P.S. This is up on Kendal’s Facebook page.