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ERIC Number: EJ775893
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2002-Oct-1
Pages: 2
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-1046-6193
A Mandala's Message
Bonnell, Tom
Teacher Magazine, v14 n2 p35-36 Oct 2002
A Tibetan Buddhist monk, Lama Tenzin, spent a week at the Manhattan private school where the author of this article was the middle school director. Lama Tenzin did not come to introduce students to Buddhism or to explain the plight of the Tibetan people. Instead, he came to create a piece of art that is a specialty of his and his brother monks': a mandala. The manner of the mandala's completion was a shock to some. Aided by a small group of students and teachers, Lama Tenzin carried the mandala five blocks to the East River and, with ceremony and reverence, brushed the artwork into the waters of the river. An unusual end for any work of art. The destruction at the end of a mandala's creation is a powerful symbol of the truth that all things are characterized by impermanence and that clinging to them is the root of suffering as human beings. In this article, the author presents another reason from his perspective as an administrator by relating it to a year in school. While much of the time is spent doing tangible work--the papers, projects, and paintings that fill classroom walls--these works, like the sands of the mandala, are impermanent and will be swept away at the end of the year. The measure of success is not how many students make it to the top, but how well administrators manage to help every student find his or her place in that mandala called school.
Editorial Projects in Education. 6935 Arlington Road Suite 100, Bethesda, MD 20814-5233. Tel: 800-346-1834; Tel: 301-280-3100; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Middle Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: New York (New York)