A Journey In Consciousness

Friday, May 15, 2009

On Mandalas

Medicine Buddha & Support Team

Mandala is a Sanskrit word, which in its simplistic interpretation simply means “Circle.”

However, for me it is a fascinating word that contains multi-dimensional mysteries, embedded with deep and complex meaning.

To me the word Mandala represents a “Wholeness that is made up of many, potentially very different aspects that together create the Wholeness.”

This is how I define the word. According to this definition then, the world becomes a phenomenon of an infinite array of Mandalas, interacting with each other and forever connecting the micro cosmos with the macro cosmos.

Looked at it this way, everything is Mandala.

Let us begin by looking at our body. If we regard our body with the above definition in mind, naturally, it too is a Mandala. It requires an incredible number of properly functioning components, the organs, the bones, the blood, the nervous system, formed by cells, formed by atoms (all of which are specific Mandalas on their own) to properly function as a whole unit. In order for the body to continue to function well, all the individual components must be maintained in a basic state of harmony that supports the continued flow of mutual support and teamwork. If only one component becomes dysfunctional, the flow of mutual support between the components is disturbed, and the disturbance will be registered in degrees of discomfort, from the very subtle to the most traumatic and ultimately to standstill, as in physical death. Therefore, we can all agree when we say that all the components, though vastly different in appearance and function, clearly need each other. The blood needs the heart to be happy so that it can enjoy what it loves to do, which is move and bring oxygen. The heart needs the kidneys to be happy to welcome clean blood, and so on. Everything is interacting in ways that are simply awe-inspiring when we actually begin to comprehend the profound depth of the interconnectivity.

So, the body is a Mandala, comprised of many other Mandalas, some truly microscopic, but nevertheless of powerful and pivotal importance upon which the body’s overall well-being undeniably and irrevocably depends.

But the body of course comes associated with a few other features, such as a mind. And, as we all know minds come in all kinds of modalities. We can look at a person’s mind and soon we discover an array of abilities, talents and gifts… cooks well, writes great poetry, a whiz at math, builds nice airplanes, etc. So the wholeness of a person’s mind is made up of the many sub-components of specific abilities and again we have a Mandala – the Mandala made up of the innumerable facets of the human mind.

Now we add to this a person’s emotional realities. We find the presence of sensitivity, or lack thereof, capacity for being kind and supportive, or egocentric and self-absorbed. And those and many other components create the Mandala of our Emotional Body. Which interblends and interacts with the Mandalas of body and mind.

As we as human beings move through life we exist in communication and relationship with others. We get up in the morning and we go to work and as we do, we leave the Mandala of our home and family and enter the Mandala of the group of people we work with. Each of the persons we work with can be identified in certain ways. A very basic socio-gram would show us a simple distinction: the other person likes or dislikes us. We like or dislike the other person. Support or opposition arises from there. And of course, things do not remain that simplistic, we now also include the physical, mental and emotional realities of the members of your professional environment and we see the forming of your professional Mandala that is immensely complex. However, readily visible may only be the tip of the iceberg that is your professional environment.

The harmony and success of a professional Mandala depends upon the presence of all the proper components and their willing support of each other by giving what they are capable of giving.

Within the context of Asian art, there are many Mandalas, which depict in many different ways the relationship between the micro cosmos and the macro cosmos. We can find here specific Universal Aspects within the greater Universe. We can find depicted also the images of Buddhas, Awakened Ones, surrounded by other Buddhas and Yogis. When we find Mandalas of Buddhas, it is significant to understand exactly what a specific Buddha represents, as different Buddhas do indeed represent different Universal Aspects. It is safe to say that no single Buddha contains within him or herself the totality of all Universal Aspects, therefore we can find Mandalas of certain Buddhas, surrounded by many other Buddhas, representing altogether different universal aspects. As these aspects work together, what we actually have is a team of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas uniting their emanations to create effects they could not bring about without their joining of effort. They function as a group.

More than ever do we live in a time where there is a need to pool creative and spiritual intentions because, as Gurdjieff used to say, no man can do anything alone. And no woman either, I might add.

Faith moves mountains, but with a little help from your friends… they move a lot faster.


At 8:10 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very interesting, Thank You.

(I've posted this to my Facebook page with your link).


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