Mandala is a Sanskrit word which means ‘Sacred Circle’. A Mandala represents wholeness, a cosmic diagram reminding us of our relation to the universe and infinity, extending both beyond our being but also within our bodies and minds.
Mandalas are everywhere, the Earth, the Sun, the Moon, the cycles of the stars and also the circles in our everyday lives of family. friends, and community.
Mandalas exist in all cultures. In Indigenous Australians art, dance and ceremonies. Native American medicine wheels, Navajo sand paintings and dream catchers. Hindu temple floor plans, paintings of deities and Yantras which give the meditater a direct experience of the qualities of that deity. Buddhist sand mandalas and thangka paintings. In Christianity rose windows, the Celtic cross and Labyrinths. The geometry of Islamic art and temples. And the reintroduction of mandalas into Europe by Carl Jung as a tool to gain a deeper understanding of the self.
Mandalas are pieces of art that evoke healing and spiritual development. A mandala is a pattern created by interlocking spheres that reflect and represent the geometry of the entire universe. Their symbolism is larger than life and represent the ecosystem of the universe. Mandalas are beautiful, colorful patterns that have a meditative effect. The circle symbolizes wholeness, continuity, connection, and the cycle of life. Circles have no hard edges or angles, making them softer and more harmonious. No matter where you are, if you look hard enough you may be able to pick out a mandala. They are all around us; they are even naturally occurring in nature. The earth, the moon, the sun, and flowers are all mandalas.
Psychoanalyst Carl Jung worked daily with mandalas and encouraged his patients to do the same. He said.. “I saw that everything, all paths I had been following, all steps I had taken, were leading back to a single point — namely, to the mid-point. It became increasingly plain to me that the mandala is the centre.… I knew that in finding the mandala as an expression of the self I had attained what was for me the ultimate.”
“Each person’s life is like a mandala- a vast, limitless circle. We stand in the center of our own circle, and everything we see, hear and think forms the mandala of our life……Everything that shows up in your mandala is a vehicle for your awakening…. There’s not (anything)….that appears in your life that…isn’t a doorway to sacred world.” Pema Chodron