Mo. toddler ruins monks' meticulous sand design with 'little tap dance'
Friday, May 25, 2007
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The little boy spotted the pretty pile of colored sand on the floor of the vast hall and couldn't resist. Slipping under a protective rope, he danced all over the sand, ruining the carefully crafted picture.
Never mind that it was the creation of eight Tibetan monks who had spent two days cross-legged on the floor of Union Station, pouring the sand into an intricate design as an expression of their Buddhist faith.
They were more than halfway done with the design -- called a mandala -- on Tuesday when they ended their work for the day and left. The little boy showed up sometime later with his mother, who was taking a package to a post office in the hall.
"He did a little tap dance on it, completely destroying it," said Lama Chuck Stanford, of the Rime Buddhist Center in Kansas City.
A security tape shows the boy's mother returning to the mandala, grabbing her son by the arm and walking out of camera range.
The monks saw the destruction Wednesday.
"No problem," Geshe Lobsang Sumdup, leader of the group from the Drepung Gomang Monastery in southern India, said through a translator. "We didn't get despondent. We have three days more. So we will have to work harder."
The monks are on a yearlong tour of the United States and Canada to raise money for their monastery. The original monastery in Tibet was destroyed.
In a ceremony Saturday, they will sweep up the sand and offer bits to onlookers for their gardens. The rest will be placed in the Missouri River.
"The belief is that it will carry the blessings all over the planet, from the Missouri River to the Mississippi to the gulf and to all the oceans of the world," Stanford said.