The Avant Guard

 

black and white photograph of a pedestrian tunnel by Doug Couvillion

The tunnel under the train tracks in Alexandria, VA always looks damp and forbidding.  I’ve walked past it many times and it always seems to draw my attention.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Heritage

photograph of a Buddha statue and incense by Doug Couvillion

Here’s my submission for the weekly photo challenge subject Heritage.

I’ve been practicing Buddhist teachings and meditation for the last 10 years or so.  Striving for non-attachment, self awareness and compassion for all sentient beings has changed my life in ways that are difficult to explain.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Reflecting

photo by Doug Couvillion of Doug Couvillion reflected in sunglasses

Sitting at a table in a restaurant I noticed the lighting gave my sunglasses a mirror effect and decided to take this photo with my iPhone.  It seemed like the perfect choice for this week’s photo challenge theme, <a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/photo-challenges/reflecting/”>Reflecting</a>.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Wanderlust

IMG_2016.JPG

On a recent trip to New York City I visited the Rockefeller Center Observation Deck.  From there you can see most of Manhattan.  It’s a pretty incredible view.

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/photo-challenges/wanderlust/

Making The Mandala

I normally post a single photograph at a time but today we visited the Virginia Holocaust Museum where a group of Tibetan monks was working on a mandala.  It was an inspiration to witness the patience, concentration and precision of the monks at work.  To give you a better feel for the whole scene I decided to post a series of photos.

The Tibetan Buddhist art of mandala is a practice in which the participants create an elaborate, beautiful mosaic of colored sand.   They work on the mandala for many days, adding little bits of colored sand to fill in each section.  The sand is added slowly and precisely to create crisp, clear lines.  When the mandala is finished the monks sweep up the sand and discard it in a river.  The process is both meditative and a practice in impermanence.

This monk was working alone when we arrived.  His concentration was remarkable.

photograph of a Tibetan monk concentrating on adding sand to a mandala

Despite the crowd of people watching, the monks remained focused on the task at hand.

photograph of a crowd watching Tibetan monks make a mandala

One of the monks gets more blue sand to add to the mandala.

photograph of a Tibetan monk getting colored sand to use for a mandala

Up to three monks worked on the mandala at a time.

photograph of two Tibetan monks working on a mandala

photograph of Tibetan monks working on a mandala

Here you can see some of the vibrant colored sand used to create the mandala.

photograph of the colored sand used by Tibetan monks to make a Mandala

I’ll leave you with a classic Buddhist wish, part of the metta bhavana, or “loving kindness”, practice…

May you be well.

May you be happy.

May you be free from suffering.