Mandala Exploring the power of the circle archetype.
What is a Mandala • Means “circle” in Sanskrit • Originated from the Hindu scripture Rig Veda and holds a spiritual and ritual significance • Adopted by Buddhism, but also seen in all other religions & cultures as well since it is an archetype • Used as a spiritual teaching tool for establishing a sacred space and as an aid to meditation • It draws our eyes and our focus toward the center
Mandala Reprsents • 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. • 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 microcosm and macrocosm of our universe • Our “heroic” journey inward
What people say about the Mandala • According to David Fontana, its symbolic nature can help one "to access progressively deeper levels of the unconscious, ultimately assisting the meditator to experience a mystical sense of oneness with the ultimate unity from which the cosmos in all its manifold forms arises." • Carl Jung saw the mandala as "a representation of the unconscious self,” and believed his paintings of mandalas enabled him to identify emotional disorders and work towards wholeness in personality.
Symbolic sections of the Buddhist Mandala • It contains four concentric circles symbolizing steps to enlightenment • Outside circle (fire of wisdom) = wisdom’s purifying fire • Vajra circle = diamonds that express strength and fearlessness • Tomb circle = 8 tombs which symbolize the 8 fold path • Inner circle (lotus) = open state of devotion
Inner circle symbolism - squaring the circle • The inner square with the four gates can represent the palace of purity. • Sometimes the buddha is in the very center • Sometimes a lotus flower is the very center • Sometimes it is just a diminishing point • The symbol of "square in circle" shows the interconnection of the Earth (square) and Space (circle). This interprets their relation as a balance, order and harmony in a process of eternal movement.
A human being is a part of the whole called by us “the universe,” a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings, as something separate from the rest-a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of a prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of understanding and compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.—Albert Einstein