Discover more from ACIM Life
Mandalas, Mindfulness, and Miracles
As a child, I became somewhat proficient in building card houses. The kind you make from the perpendicular arrangement of playing cards leaning against one another. My excitement grew as did the number of stories; breath suspended during the precarious placement of each card on the towering edifice.
Inevitably some puff of wind or extraneous floor vibration brought my creation crashing down. Along with my spirits. Do I start over once again, or move on to a more reliable activity?
In retrospect, beyond the ephemeral creation-and-collapse cycle of card houses lies a profound truth: the impermanence of form. I based achievement on the loftiness of construction. Failure on its dissolution. A warped pattern of resolution. Without recognizing the tattered tapestry of perception and belief I had haphazardly woven.
I’m reminded of Buddhist sand mandalas, sacred creations emerging from the hands of devoted artisans. Intricately designed compositions with each delicate line and carefully placed color exemplifying the dedication, intention, and intense patience behind the work. These stunning symbols of solemnity offering visual hymns of praise to a worshipped deity.
Often weeks in the making, once complete the reverent monks do the unthinkable - destroying their creation by sweeping over the sand. With one swift stroke, the mandala is no more.
Its transient existence mirroring the fleetingly illusory nature of reality. Yet the act of erasure not a mournful gesture of sorrow but rather a penetrating insight into the present moment. An invitation to cherish the is-ness of now. As we read in A Course in Miracles:
For a miracle is now. It stands already here, in present grace, within the only interval of time that sin and fear have overlooked, but which is all there is to time. (T-26.VIII.5)
It is in the dismantling of the mandala that we glimpse the eternal, removing the veil masking the formless reality of infinite oneness beneath. Attachments to scenes of the past and panoramically imagined futures transformed into an endless canvas of radiant love.
Embracing the timeless present, where miracles occur naturally, leads to the most extraordinary sense of serenity. All threads of illusion gently unraveled, revealing an impeccably painted parchment of perfect peace.
Join me in Thursday’s class where we’ll discuss the cycles of emergence and dissolution, and what they can teach us about transcending all suffering. I look forward to seeing you then.