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Community Mandala at Mayway

By Mayway Staff
February 28, 2019 No comments

Mayway community herb mandala mandala
/ˈmən-də-lə/
noun

  1. a Hindu or Buddhist graphic symbol of the universe
    1. specifically: a circle enclosing a square with a deity on each side that is used chiefly as an aid to meditation
  2. a symbol in a dream, representing the dreamer's search for completeness and self-unity.

Wikipedia:
As a meditation on impermanence (a central teaching of Buddhism), after days or weeks of creating the intricate pattern of a sand mandala, the sand is brushed together into a pile and spilled into a body of running water to spread the blessings of the mandala.


We were delighted that many of you joined us for an Open House to celebrate Chinese New Year last month. Visitors participated in creating a community mandala, which was built with herbs instead of sand, and by the skilled hands of local practitioners during the 2 weeks it was set up in our foyer. Thank you!

The idea grew out of the popularity of photos of herb mandalas posted to our social media accounts, and our desire for a more personal connection to our local community of practitioners and students. We also thought it would be a fitting way to start the New Year (traditionally celebrated with community and mindfulness) with a shared experience and meditation using herbs. Mayway’s owners and staff enjoyed the interesting conversations that unfolded as the mandala took shape, and the opportunity to answer questions about our business and herbs.

A ladder was brought, platform set up, camera and photographer climbed up and snapped a few test shots with a phone before moving the camera into place. As the shot was being lined up, a clamp on the platform released and crashed into the edge of the table, upsetting the entire platform the mandala was built on, and scattering herbs everywhere.The detail and creativity that came out of this project astounded us and, after 2 weeks Hugh Lau, our resident photographer and one of the owners of Mayway, set out to create some professional quality images to save this work of art and testament to traditional Chinese medicine herbs.

After a discussion on whether it could be rebuilt, we decided that this was a lesson for us from the mandala, about the joy of community and process, and the impermanence of objects. We let go of the photo and instead took a few moments to reflect on what came before – the coming together of TCM professionals, thoughtful interaction with herbs and enlightening exchange of ideas.

The intent of our Open House event was to connect and share ideas with the people using our herbs, and we feel it was a success from that perspective. We look forward to experiencing this process again together with you all, and in the meantime encourage your comments and thoughts on herb mandalas and more at Facebook and Instagram.