Gmorning, friends. Yesterday we tabled for many hours. I started to lose my mind around 2 pm. We started packing up at 3 (two hours early).
Then we went to the library for a talk about mandala symbolism. The monks were still working on the mandala!
The talk was weird. Intercultural communication was a struggle. One guy talked in Tibetan and the other guy translated. They had a slideshow and a laser pointer. We learned about the reasoning behind the mandala’s features.
Turns out mandalas are two dimensional depictions of palaces. I had no idea.
On the outside is cleansing fire. Then is a vajra wall. Then are 64 lotus petals. Then is some gardenage, I think? Then is the building with parasols, parapets, and red ledges where angels hold offerings.
They told a story about a lady who angrily broke some branches at a monastery. Her karma was to be reborn next life as a snake with a tree growing out of its head. When the wind blew, it hurt. She died somehow (can’t recall) and her head was cut off and hung at the palace to remind people that acting in anger is a bad idea.
I don’t see how breaking tree branches at a monastery is such a bad thing to do. Obviously something is lost on me.
We left before the talk was over–Ming was done, falling asleep and not wanting to comprehend all of the mandala mysteries.
Then we went to Vege-Way, the local vegan fast food joint. PMB, who was with us the whole time, ordered $30 worth of food. Kind of amazing. Three burgers, some monster fries, some fake popcorn chicken, and a strawberry shake.
Sometimes he called us Mom and Dad to rile us. It’s a running joke. Some people think we’re his parents. He could be my kid, if I had him when I was 17.