[Moving photo of the Longsal Tree on Khandroling]
The other day I rode up to the top of the hill on Khandroling with Marit Cranmer to visit the work being done by Jim Smith wih help from Nary Mitchell on the Universal Mandala.
The weather was perfect with a brilliant sky, gentle breeze, and warming sun. Everywhere grasses were in the first green of the season. All up and down the road from the pond to Rinpoche’s cabin, white narcissus planted last year by Marit, were out in full force having for the most part survived the heavy machinery of the tree cutting in the late fall of 2013. Many views of the valley below and the land are now open. Amazingly, one can see the roof of the Mandarava cabin from the front steps of the Mandala Hall--presumably vice versa. In preparation for our Inauguration this summer, the immediate area surrounding the Mandala Hall itself was cleared of all tree stumps and planted with grass and wild flowers. A hint of the future park-like environment can easily be ascertained, at least at the top of the mountain. Thanks to our many donors, we are now awaiting the giant “chipper’ to transform all the piles of debris from last fall’s tree cutting into ground cover. High above it all, the gold Longsal floats against the vast open sky as clouds pass to and fro--a magnificent contrast to the density of the Mandala Hall like an ethereal arm reaching from solid earth below to the spacious dimensions above.
When we arrived, Jim Smith was working on the Universal Mandala trying to reconcile the current design already indelibly painted on the concrete floor of the Universal Mandala to the new specifications just released after further clarifications in Rinpoche’s text. [A reminder here that this is the ONLY Universal Mandala on earth]. Jim, like most of us, is a veteran of change and well trained in meeting a good challenge without fail. A man of few words, Jim nodded that the task at hand was workable.
In the photo above Jim is holding a scaled version of the previous Universal Mandala template rendered in a quarter size sample with a ring of unbroken flames above the six black thigle. This is the area that needs to be adapted to changes recently clarified in Rinpoche’s original text. The newly redesigned version, as you can see below has 12 Black thigle with a surround of flames in clusters. [The version below is the web version].
More work is needed to help Jim Smith and Nary Mitchell manifest what needs to be done on the Universal Mandala to make it ready ---especially now that the warm weather has arrived and the usual spring mud season past. We need you......come for a few hours, week-end, a week, or a whole month. Your presence will be much appreciated!