Inspiration hit while running this weekend…as it so often does-one of my motivations for running! I was contemplating the final layer for a painting I’ve been working on. The thought of adding a mixed media mandala came to mind. I’ve always appreciated these works of art for both their beauty and meditative qualities.
The mendala has long played a role in Buddhist, Hindu and Indian traditions. I am most familiar with the Buddhist mandala. Steeped in meaning through the use of symbols, colors and shapes, it serves as a way for both the creator and observer to enrich their view of humanity and themselves.
Traditionally, a Buddhist mandala is composed of a square, representing the temple, surrounding a center circle representing the universe. From the center circle extends four circles touching each side of the square. These circles are infused with spiritual symbolism. A gate is centered on each side of the square. These doors bring together the limitless thoughts of loving kindness, compassion, sympathy and calmness. The journey through the gates to the center circle represents moving from the secular world to the divine.
A personal mandala need not follow a traditional pattern. What is important is that the shapes, colors and symbols hold special meaning for the artist. Now when observing or even meditating on the mandala one has the power to be transported from the confinement of the material world to that of a lighter, more free state of being.