Transforming Our World Through The Arts

Mandalas 101

What is a Mandala?
The word Mandala comes from the classical Sanskrit language. It means ‘circle’ or ‘wheel’ and represents wholeness and unity. At their very basic, mandalas are a circular art form. They have been used over thousands of years and across many nations. They are an inner reflection of who we are, and they connect us with the universe of which we are a part. Mandalas help us to reach deeper levels of our unconscious, especially when created in tandem with meditation. Mandalas are the perfect bringing together of mind, body and spirit. They represent a union between the scientific realm and the religious realm by putting spiritual meaning onto scientific concepts. (For example, the natural mandalas listed below all have scientific forms, but when used in mandalas we give our own spiritual meaning to them).

Mandalas As Symbols of The Universe

The sun, moon, circles, stars, spiral galaxies, circular movement of planets, flowers, snowflakes, the cross-section of a tree, and the Earth itself are all examples of mandalas found in nature. All of these things (and more!) show a pattern of growth moving outward from a central point/SOURCE. This is what makes them Mandalas.

Why Create a Mandala?

Because it can regenerate the powers of the mind that have been tucked away due to routine behaviour and societal stressors. The meditative process helps to focus and open the heart to the healing power of unconditional love.
Because it has a calming and relaxing effect on the mind and body, thus focusing and strengthening the will to heal.
Because it can bring joy as it facilitates the healing of a sense of psychological fragmentation. (In other words, things become clearer).
Because it can make the invisible visible-expressing … patterns of …reality that can be expressed in no other way.
Because it can reveal unity between human existence and the structure of the cosmos-opening up a perspective in which things can be understood as a whole.
Because it can give form and expression to an intuitive insight into spiritual truth by releasing the inner light of the soul.
(Adapted from Judith Cornell, “Mandala: Luminous Symbols For Healing”)

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