Filed in Theravada

Castles Made of Sand

A symbol of impermanence can teach us about the nature of our own minds.Andrew Olendzki

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Perhaps you will go to the beach sometime this summer and have a chance to watch children at play in the sand. How engrossed they can get in their projects! When building a sand castle, nothing in the world seems more important than shaping it, embellishing it, and protecting it from the encroaching sea or from other children who might threaten it. This must be a timeless pursuit, for the Buddha offers the following image in a discussion with an elder monk named Radha in the Samyutta Nikaya:

Suppose, Radha, some little boys or girls are playing with sand castles. So long as they are not devoid of lust, desire, affection, thirst, passion, and craving for those sand castles, they cherish them, play with them, treasure them, and treat them possessively.

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