Background information about mandalas:
Mandalas originated in India and are now found on all continents and in nearly all cultures. In India and other Eastern cultures, it is believed that working with mandalas can help one to obtain understanding about aspects of his or her life.
A mandala is a form of artwork used as a form of meditation. In Sanskrit, the word mandala means sacred circle. Most mandalas have images in them that are embedded in a circle. Some mandalas use geometry and the labyrinth is one of many ancient mandalas. Working with mandalas is a way to meditate and a tool used to connect with your inner core or your true self, by directing your energy and focus inward. This energy can aid in creating an inner healing that brings about complete wholeness or enlightenment. Many believe this is a way in which we can connect with the archetypal story; through geometry, numbers, objects or colors. Some view working with mandalas as a way to reawaken and recognize the inner light that is within us all. Drawing mandalas can help break through the layers of life and other expectations that keep us from seeing and realizing our inner soul/spirit. The objective in mandalas is to raise our consciousness to seeing, knowing and manifesting the true self to the outer world. Once we have awakened or connected to our inner light we can then reflect that out into the external world, which in turn aids in raising the collective consciousness.
Mandalas have 3 layers of meaning:
Outer, the outer meaning is what is noticed or seen on the surface at face value.
Inner, the inner meaning is the intention, meaning and understanding that the person creating it has used in the colors, symbols, numbers and geometry.
Hidden or unknown, that is what has not been revealed or known at the time of creation. Sometimes it takes the creator awhile to understand the deeper messages of their mandalas, that is one place where using meditation meaning of the mandala is revealed. It is recommended that upon completion of the mandala the creator does not put it away because it takes time and contemplation to understand and know the whole meaning of the mandala. When sharing mandalas with others often the meaning of what is seen by the person viewing it may be different than the person who created it. Exchanging this
information can be very informative.
There are two kinds of Mandalas – the single circle is used in common meditation practice and the double circle is used when there are two aspects of life at polar opposition within your life and are creating tension. Within the practice of meditation, it is not about solving the tension, but observation. So with this practice, you name each circle and where they overlap in the center is where the answers, or complimentary aspects will emerge as you fill in and work on your mandala. For the our course we will work with this form. You are welcome to name each circle for something that is within tension in your life, or use the one that we will be talking about this week – the opposition of external and internal time/expectations
The double Mandala, you fill in as you go, there are no lines or shapes drawn for you, so you are able to fill in as you feel driven on each side. This is to be a meditation, so there is no conversation as you work on it, it should be quiet both in the room and in your mind. Remember, as thoughts come in, allow them to be and then release them. There is no solving, just observing.