Tuesday, May 21, 2013

What is a mandala?

The word “Mandala,” is a Sanskrit word which means "sacred circle." A more literal translation might read "container of essences." As an art form, the mandala provides a concrete symbol of the artist's absorption into a sacred center. It is meant to draw both the artist and the viewer into an encounter with the "center" or as the Navajo call it, "a spiritual place of emergence."

Mandalas are most often circular, though some are square, or a combination of the two. They incorporate the use of colors, shapes, symbols, symmetry and repetition to aid in ordering and focusing one's life, and therefore facilitate healing. By focusing on it, both mandala artist and meditator can open to the divine energy of the Creator, and to the contents of his or her own spiritual and psychological self. They are used as healing and transforming art in Native American sand painting, Hindu and Tibetan Buddhist rituals, and modern psychotherapy.

Mandalas are a particularly effective tool for healing, or for creating positive energy, because not only are they beautiful, they incorporate bright colors, shapes, and rich symbolism. In addition to this already powerful synergy, the repetition of designs, and the symmetry draws the viewer to the centre, which is symbolic of the path of self discovery and the goal of enlightenment.

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