Thursday, May 18, 2006

What is a mandala?

Mandala by Kenneth Croneland.

I want to share a website with you called, "The Mandala Project". Here's passage from one of the pages:

The pattern of creationThe word "mandala" is from the classical Indian language of Sanskrit. Loosely translated to mean "circle," a mandala is far more than a simple shape. It represents wholeness, and can be seen as a model for the organizational structure of life itself--a cosmic diagram that reminds us of our relation to the infinite, the world that extends both beyond and within our bodies and minds.

Describing both material and non-material realities, the mandala appears in all aspects of life: the celestial circles we call earth, sun, and moon, as well as conceptual circles of friends, family, and community.

"The integrated view of the world represented by the mandala, while long embraced by some Eastern religions, has now begun to emerge in Western religious and secular cultures. Awareness of the mandala may have the potential of changing how we see ourselves, our planet, and perhaps even our own life purpose." (From
Mandala: Journey to the Center, by Bailey Cunningham)

Some years ago I decided to create mandalas as a part of my inner work. I got a sketch pad and traced circles on the pages using a coffee can. Then I just let my imagination run free.

It was very illuminating to interpret the symbols I used as if I were interpretting a dream. Carl Jung did this as part of his inner work and that's how I got the idea. You can begin by exploring the site I've mentioned above and studying some examples of mandalas. Or you can print out a mandala you particularly like and use it as a support for meditation.


  1. L. Wilson11:23 AM

    Mandalas are fascinating. In the 1970s or 1960s we purchased a painting entitled "Mandala." It consisted of swirls of different shades of green. The artist was, I believe, Paul England, a local Tulsa artist. I have never thought about making a Mandala of my own. I think I'll try that.

    L. Wilson

  2. Yes, I really recommend that you do try it. I found it very illuminating to create mandalas. I learned a lot about myself in the process.

  3. This is an interesting post. I have seen mandalas before and assumed they were tools for meditation where the viewer inserted his own meaning. I can see that they might be packed with symbolism, both obvious and not so obvious.


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