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Big ideas are lenses for envisioning the future. Every article and video on bigthink.com and on our learning platforms is based on an emerging “big idea” that is significant, widely relevant, and actionable. We’re sifting the noise for the questions and insights that have the power to change all of our lives, for decades to come. For example, reverse-engineering is a big idea in that the concept is increasingly useful across multiple disciplines, from education to nanotechnology.

Themes are the seven broad umbrellas under which we organize the hundreds of big ideas that populate Big Think. They include New World Order, Earth and Beyond, 21st Century Living, Going Mental, Extreme Biology, Power and Influence, and Inventing the Future.

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World Peace & Sand Mandalas

The Big Idea for Monday, August 18, 2014

Losang Samten, the author of Ancient Teachings in Modern Times: Buddhism in the 21st Century, has traveled the world, creating intricate sand mandalas. The colorful symbols inside the circle of sand represent the universe, according to Buddhism, and is carefully crafted. 

In this compelling short documentary from Big Think, Samten takes us through the process of creating a sand mandala and the lessons they hold for the modern world: 

"So the pig represents the ignorance, lots are due to our emotions, special negative emotions and the difficulties and frustrations and even killing each other are due to the ignorance – not seeing the true nature of the reality."


  1. 1 Ask a Buddhist
    Kadam Morten
  2. 2 The Importance of Meditation
    Sharon Gannon
  3. 3 The Universe in the Sand
    Big Think Editors Think Tank
  4. 4 Buddhism as a “Science of the Mind”
    Jason Gots Think Tank

World Peace & Sand Mandalas

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