”Each person’s life is like a mandala – a vast, limitless circle. We stand in the centre of our own circle and everything we see, hear and think forms the mandala of our life.’ ‘
Pronounced MAHN-Dahl, the word Mandala means “healing or sacred circle” in Sanskrit (मण्डल). Mandalas are circular, geometric designs that represent “wholeness” and ”completeness”. The pattern of the mandala circle is balanced and in harmony. The sacred space within the circle is said to be a harbour for an inner truth.
The word ‘mandala’ entered the English language in the second half of the 1800s and had the meaning of ‘magic’ circle.
It is an ancient representation of the great cosmos… yogis like to say ‘The Universe’.
Mandalas appear in many forms and in many aspects of our daily life. Since ancient times, the circle or sphere represents wholeness, unity and balance. The mandala has been used to create, attract, focus and contain human and vital energy.
The circle is one of our oldest symbols. We are surrounded by visible circular celestial bodies every day. Think sun, moon, earth. Circles radiate from the sun as it emanates its light. And then there are flowers – that unfold themselves petal by petal. Even the iris of the eye is a circle through which we experience an increasingly busy, visual world.
Beyond the physical manifestations we have the more abstract circles that we all like to talk about – friends, family, community.
The circle as a container and an organisation vehicle for ‘order’ is well known. Hang out with a toddler and a few crayons for while and you quickly see how the child progresses very quickly from scribbling to drawing discernible circles. (It’s NO coincidence that snowmen and Santa have big rotund bellies!) The circle as an organising principle is a natural occurrence in a child’s learning process.
In the same way, as ‘older children’ the mandala encourages us to find our own centre. It enable us to process old and new information, to connect with our personal identity, our inner child. And without losing access to this vital centre, it also gives us the permission to build a cycle of personal growth, to reach out and expand.