A mandala is an intricate art form in Hindu and Buddhist religions that employs a circular pattern to represent the structure of the universe. Tibetan Buddhists have a unique tradition of building large mandalas from colored sand. Although teams of monks will spend weeks building one sand mandala, once the mandala is finished, the monks destroy it. The ritual of removing the sand is meant to symbolize the impermanence of life.
Although I respect their religious purpose, what stuck me about sand mandalas was that despite tremendous efforts, monks would voluntarily destroy their own artwork. I don’t intend to toss my sketchbooks in the garbage, but in the spirit of recognizing that not all art is permanent, using an erasable Expo marker and a whiteboard, I sketched someone with his own ideas about the structure of the universe.
I didn’t spend weeks on this sketch – it took me 10 to 15 minutes. But like the monks and their sand mandalas, once I was done, I returned the whiteboard to its original state.
“Nothing is permanent except change.” – Heraclitus