Origami: Practice of Letting Go

Posted in Lessons from the Mat, Meditation + Philosophy

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Did you know that the beautiful and intricate coloured sand mandalas of Tibetan Buddhism are destroyed once completed? It takes a team of monks several weeks to build a sand ma??ala, after which it is ritualistically and ceremoniously destroyed. This is done to symbolize the Buddhist belief in the transitory nature of material life.

Although different in many ways, this new year I had my own ceremony. While in a cabin in the woods over the holidays, I spent hours assembling an array of origami animals a few times over (with Japanese instructions, no less). Although I was deeply proud at my first attempt at this ancient art, I felt no need to keep my new friends, and so I ceremoniously burned each one, thanking them for the lessons they taught me: patience, perseverance, precision, and letting go.