Various Places, Dates & Collaborators

SUMMARY: SANDCASTLE Constructions, Offerings & Dissolutions. Solo castles and Team castles and found castles. Many undocumented.  A long time favorite undertaking often taking on hyperbolic dimensions, the making of sandcastles brings together the spirit of play and work, the grain of sand and the castle universe, the aesthetics of creation and dissolution, the dramas of gravity and fluid, the raw unformed and the formed, the cosmic immediacy of tides, the play of and surrender to impermanence, the miniature and the immense and, as in sand mandalas made by seasoned monastics, the potential to turn all creation into an offering to the immense ocean. It’s this very tangible symbolic act that I’ve gained a heightened sense of appreciation for over the past few years as I immersed in the many practices of offerings in the canon of Buddhist practice: offerings of water, of smoke, of fire, of light, of food, of sand, of simple and elaborate “tormas”–grain sculptures steeped with intention, of visualized fields of bounty and sensual pleasure, of inner experiences and insights. I find a pleasure in sandcastles that I’ve seen in monastics making tormas. I love the playful work, the whole thing. Here are a few… to be continued:

The Castle of the Union of the Sacred & the Profane, offered with potter maestro-ess Malaguon, Spring 2022, The Rockaways, Brooklyn. A little extra inspiration and improvisaton creating with a potter architect lama, it wasn’t until we decided we were finished that we happened upon the offering. Then, as we sunbathed on an unseasonally warm and gorgeous day, we watched it dissolve into a marvelous ruin. 

Mandala of Four Buddhas, The Rockaways, Fall 2021. More of a sand sketch than a sandcastle, this seemed like a dagger plunged into the infinite waters. The triangle dharmadayo, the circle of infinity, the four petaled lotus, the central stem. 

Castle of the Protectors, offered on the 29th Lunar day at Stinson Beach, Marin, CA with the noble RB, Fall 2020. Offered to power up the realm, to clear obstacles and align with the heart’s inner clarity and direction. The intensity of sunset that followed this act seemed to devour the universe.

Castle of Invisible Cities, Spring/Summer 2019, created with the noble Kate Relish and a merry band of beach mavens. In a universe of strange coincidences, Kate and I brought the same book with us to this beach summit– Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino. What marvels our minds construct and what adventures await… 

From the Archive, many Castles of Maine. This one here with the noble Dan, most likely built by the uncles.