Sharing Stories

Online Community Journal

It is 11:45 on Sunday the 27th. The Mandala is finished…yet, the monks continue at it. It is amazing to watch so much devotion. They know the Mandala will be distroyed within an hour…but they are commited to give the last cell of love and compassion in them towards our protection, towards OUR healing. I am deeply moved and grateful.
Black Mountain, NC

I was in my office in D.C. where the window is a view toward Virginia. We were watching CNN as it reported on the first plane crashing into one tower and stood transfixed on the TV as we watched the second plane. I immediately knew we were under attack. Suddenly, out of the corner of an eye there was a distraction that drew my attention. Then, rising from the Pentagon, a large cloud of black smoke. Moments later, someone was yelling at us to clear the building. We fled to the street, congregated outside at L’Enfant Plaza sharing disbelief, wondering what was coming next and spending the rest of the day finding our way home. My peaceful world since Vietnam had ended. Now we must share the real pain and suffering so many suffer, more severely in other parts of the world. Can we keep terrorism confined outside our safety zone? Is rounding up and killing terrorists the only answer? Or do we need to find ways of freeing those who would be terrorist trainees before their minds and souls are consumed with hate, vengeance. We need to figure out ways to give them hope and a reason for living in peace. We need to combat out fundamentalism of all kinds.
Sterling, VA

Seeing the Tibetan monks work on the mandala was an amazing experience. Their smiles were the warmest smiles I have ever seen. Their voices the softest. The closing ceremony for the day was very moving and relaxing. I felt so free and happy after having experienced such a wonderful time in their presence. Ever since that day they have always been on my mind and I greatly wish to see them at work again. I hope everyone who can spare a few precious moments would go to see this. It is a once in a lifetime experience and anyone who doesn’t go is truly missing out. I want to thank the time the monks have given us for this mandala for it is truly an amazing and appreciated gift.
Burke, VA

I brought my children today to see the mandala. In the line outside, a woman cut in and another woman started to fight with her. The words between them were hateful, with each unwilling to wait another moment longer than she felt she should have to. My children ignored the fight. When we entered the chamber, they were drawn to the mandala and the calm emanating from it and from the monks. I do not know if the angry women found peace though it was there for them if they wanted it. My children and I silently absorbed the gift. My daughter is 8 and my son, who is autistic, is 6. We then went to ride the carousel. A little joy is good for the soul.
Fairfax, VA

After viewing the quick time images of the creation of the mandala, I see that we all in our own way can create beauty that heals…a song, a thought, words, a picture, a dance…in whatever way calls us….listening for peace each day and expressing it will heal our world…..Love…and thanks to the monks who are creating healing now.
Elizabeth Percival Howell
Boone, NC

I do appreciate what Tibetian Buddhist monk have done. It’s reminding us the absolute truth which Lord Buddha’s been telling for more than 2000 years. Everything is impermanent, nonsatisfactory and non-self control. You’ll understand when you see the closing ceremony on 1/27/02.
Arlington, VA

I viewed the progress of the sand mandala on Sunday 1-20-2002 and was so emotionally/spiritually/physically moved it is impossible to put these feelings into words. I saw the Dalai Lama speak a few years back at the Folk Life Festival and experienced the same sort of awe in thought and mind and body. It was an awakening in myself. I felt whole and healed. I saw people both then and on Sunday changed, in almost imperceptible ways. What these monks are sharing with us is sacred, it is important to acknowledge how much their blessings have already started to help with the healing process of the events of 9-11.
Katy Bowerman

As I read the journals, both the one in Washington and the one on line, my experience is intense, not so much because of the mandala per se, as to FEEL the emotion and the intensity of the people as I read ……. I guess what I am really trying to say is that I am SO moved because it seems that, once again, the monks touched people deeply, the monks made everyone feel special. Geshe Khun Khen shook hands…..Tenzin Mullin smiled to all, Shedrup and Tenzin Dondup socialized….Wanchen fired, as always. Thenley, Yiam Jiang and of course, Geshe Chodag melted EVERYBODY with their sweetness, humbleness, stillness and calmness……….. The emotions poured in each letter deeply move me. “I had an accident”, “I was in NY on Sept 11”, “My daughter…” “My father died…” “I was sick”…”healing”…….

One person wrote “Thank you for your compassion.” At first I thought nothing of it. No, as a matter of fact, I didn’t think that was “proper or smart.” But then it dawned on me that Yes!! That’s it!! What we all experience is this deep genuine compassion, this unconditional love….from these strangers…….. But wait a minute…..they don’t feel like strangers, because they immediately treat us as friends.

So yes, thank you Rinpoches, Thank you Geshes, Thank you to ALL the monks for all your compassion, your love, your care…….. Thank you for being with us in these difficult times.
Alicia (Tenzin Dolma)
Black Mountain, North Carolina

Tashi Delek to the monks from Drepung Loseling Monastery from Ama Dianne. I traveled from Indiana to see the monks and the mandala in progress. It was a wonderful experience to see both groups of monks together, the chanting ceremonies were magnificent. I miss them already.
Dianne Hoffman
Hammond, Indiana

I was in Washington this weekend to visit my daughter and we went to the Sackler Gallery to view the work in progress on the Mandala. It was one of the most moving experiences I have ever had. The creation of such beauty, the complete sharing of the healing spirit, and sense of global unity as a response to an unimaginable evil is enlightening and elevating. I will never forget it, and hope that the layers of meaning in the Mandala will reach many.
Jocelyn Lavoie
Nashua, New Hampshire

Thanks to the monks and to the Smithsonian for bringing such positive energy to our city and the world. It is beautiful and ever so significant to see so many persons coming to experience the healing elicted by the action of the monks building such a beautiful mandala. We need more of this type of positive energy. The strength from healing, love, and positiveness is so needed to dispel fears which only lead to violence. Fill the earth with healing and love. Thank You.
Washington, D.C.

As a Catholic I still find what the monks are doing to be fascinating, encouraging and even spiritually refreshing even though I do not share the same religion. As a current resident of the DC area and a former resident of the New York City metro area, September 11, 2001 is a day that hit close to home. Though I personally did not lose anyone, I know some who did. I lost something from my childhood: the memory of looking towards the Twin Towers from Leonardo Beach in NJ with awe and amazement that these towers were a monument to humanity. Well, they still are that monument even though they and many thousands of souls have gone. I will certainly go and see the contribution these monks are making for our world community in person, to show my appreciation.
Jeff McAllister
Alexandria, Virginia

The prayers were very calming. We were impressed by how quiet the audence was during the opening prayers, even babies that had been crying earlier were quiet for the whole hour.
Fairfax, Virginia

I, like every other American, am suffering in some way from the shock of Sept 11. What brings me the most pain is that our government continues to retaliate with violence. It still seems to me that solutions which involve peace and forgiveness are nowhere in the consciousness of our leaders or they don’t trust these solutions if they even consider them.
Martha Stay
McLean, Virginia

I was blessed to see the monks as they worked on the mandala a few days ago. I am now back home and feel very connected to them and this healing medium. The ceremony with chanting, sacred music, and meditation was profoundly moving and the healing energy that is being generated in that sacred space was palpable. Words cannot convey it! I cannot be there as I would like, but I have been thinking of them as I do my work, consecrating it with loving intent, to add fuel for the fire of peace that burns on the sanctuary of their devotion.

Thank you for sharing the experience of the mandala with the rest of the world via the internet. When the last grains of sand are swept away, let us hope that the healing continues. Metta to all beings
Avalon, CA.

When I read about the Mandala being made by the monks, I was greatly moved and knew I needed to see it up close. After visiting the gallery and witnessing the event in person, I was even more touched by the experience. Listening to the lecture during the day from one of the monks had a profound effect on me which will last a lifetime. I am very grateful that this event is taking place only one mile from my home on Capitol Hill. I will definately be visiting many more times before the closing ceremony.
Washington, D.C.

I would like to express my gratitude to the monks creating the Mandala. It is comforting to know that at this moment there are those who are working with love and diligence to bring light to a darkened world. May the healing energy transform us all.
Providence, R.I.

I visited DC last week and just missed the opening ceremonies. I am very thankful for the Sackler Museum’s efforts to bring this event to the world. I’d like to express my gratitude to the monks for their great compassion. May all who suffer be healed by it.
St. Albans, West Virginia

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