mandala(What would the Dali Lama Do?)

For the last week there have been six Tibetan monks visiting Sacramento (and who are on a peace tour of California) and demonstrations to local school children of their sand mandalas have been on the news. I’ve always loved the intricacies of mandalas and admired such devotion required for something so temporal. Like Andy Goldsworthy who makes his art from found objects in nature, both artforms embody the beauty of creation for its own sake.

Even though it has been around for a while I thought I’d post a reminder from the Dali Lama called Instructions for Life. I especially am fond of the quiet humor in #19. In fact, isn’t love like cooking and vice versa?


1. Take into account that great love and great achievements involve great risk.
2. When you lose, don’t lose the lesson.
3. Follow the three R’s:

Respect for self
Respect for others and
Responsibility for all your actions.

4. Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck.
5. Learn the rules so you know how to break them properly.
6. Don’t let a little dispute injure a great friendship.
7. When you realize you’ve made a mistake, take immediate steps to correct it.
8. Spend some time alone every day.
9. Open your arms to change, but don’t let go of your values.
10. Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer.
11. Live a good, honorable life. Then when you get older and think back, you’ll be able to enjoy it a second time.
12. A loving atmosphere in your home is the foundation for your life.
13. In disagreements with loved ones deal only with the current situation. Don’t bring up the past.
14. Share your knowledge. It’s a way to achieve immortality.
15. Be gentle with the earth.
16. Once a year, go someplace you’ve never been before.
17. Remember that the best relationship is one in which your love for each other exceeds your need for each other.
18. Judge your success by what you had to give up in order to get it.
19. Approach love and cooking with reckless abandon.

(Image from Namgyal Monastary Institute of Buddhist Studies)