Fiction

The silent monk.

‘’ As I walked through the streets of Tibet, everyday for a week, I noticed the same monk always in the same place, looking at the wonders of nature and meditating. One afternoon, when I passed by that place, he was building a beautiful mandala. So I stayed nearby, to see it progress… to see him build this large and stunning work of art. He used many colours and forms and shapes. The people who gathered around explained to me that everything was a symbol for nature, and life.  Someone told me that he had absolutely nothing to his name, he lived as a monk but not in the monastery… he wanted to be free. Someone else during the day told me that he spoke to no one, that he probably had taken a vow of silence, years ago, since no one ever heard him speak. So I watched… for countless hours, as he built with tiny drops of sand, these beautiful patterns on the grounds on which people walk upon. It was so strikingly beautiful, I wanted to frame it and bring it home. I took pictures instead. But at the end of the day, when it was finally all ready and perfect, the monk looked at it for a few minutes, and I observed him contemplating his own creation. He looked and looked and walked around it completely unaffected. And then all of a sudden, the monk got a sort of broom and brushed it all off, leaving absolutely no trace of the beauty he had created, except one pile of brown sand. It had taken him the whole day, and yet, in a second, he had destroyed his perfect creation. I gasped, how was it possible to destroy such perfection? I couldn’t understand it at all… So for the first time ever, I approached the monk and asked him about it. remembering that he might have taken a vow of silence, or that nobody had ever heard him speak, I looked at his eyes, smiled and walked away. When I was a few steps away, I heard him say: Sir… I turned around and walked back up to him. He continued: ‘ Letting go is the most beautiful thing on earth.’. That’s all he said. I waited for him to speak more, but he bowed with his hands together, and I did the same. ‘I honour you’. It’s what we both said in silence… The next day, when I made my way through the streets of the town, I found him there again, really early in morning, looking out into the landscape, into nature. I had some coffee, and then when I went back through the same street… there he was starting to build a beautiful mandala, once again. I smiled. He didn’t even see me, but the silent monk has stayed with me ever since. ‘’

When Alexander finished the story,  Victoria’s eyes were fixed on his.

Picture above is a Tibetan Mandala found here.

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