Mandalas, here, there and everywhere

Just a few days ago, a mandala was in the national news.

Eight Tibetan Buddhist monks had just spent eight days at Kansas City’s Union Station creating a mandala — an intricate design of sand that expresses Buddhist principles — when a little boy innocently danced across it.

tjndc5-5exojxpulmcod45mlah_layout.jpg“No problem,� said Geshe Lobsang Sumdup, leader of the group, according to the AP. “We didn’t get despondent. We have three days more. So we will have to work harder.�

It just so happens that a Buddhist monk was also at the Masters School in Dobbs Ferry this week creating a mandala. I just got back from the school, where I saw the finished product, a truly beautiful work of art.

Then I watched the monk, with the help of students, dismantle the mandala, collect the sand in two cups and then spill the sand in the Hudson River. If you want to know why — drum roll, please — read my story tomorrow in the Journal News/

Gary Stern

Gary Stern covered education in the Lower Hudson Valley for several years during the early 1990s. Now's he back on the beat. He believes that schools are one of the main reasons that people live around here and that educational issues -- from curriculum to financing -- are among the most challenging things that journalists can write about. He continues to be amazed by the complexity of educational jargon. Gary got his B.A. at SUNY Buffalo and his M.A. from the University of Missouri Journalism School (where his master's thesis was about the best ways to cover education). He lives in White Plains with his wife and two sons, who attend public schools.