The Tibetan Buddhist monks ritualistically create, and then ritualistically dismantle, their creation as a symbol of the transitory nature of material life. The jar of sand is taken to a river and released back into nature.
The monks, who hail from the Ganden Jangtse Monastery in Mundgod, South India, are on a year-long tour through the U.S., spending time in communities that are interested in learning more about Buddhist philosophy and practices.
They destroy it. Why? Because the underlying message of the mandala ceremony is that nothing is permanent. Nothing. All things are in flux, it says, beautiful but ephemeral, moving but temporary, a plateau but not a summit
The irony of the Tibetan leader speaking about losing his nation, in front of the U.S. Capitol, while Secretary Clinton was welcoming the new country of South Sudan was not lost on members in the crowd.