Discover the many forms of mandala designs in the world around you. Tibetan mandalas are the most recognized form. The basics used to create a mandala are a circle with a center point. Most mandalas also incorporate geometric shapes, spiritual symbols, and images.
(I have illustrated this page with a mandala I created from one of my original works of art using a software program to create the circular image. I call it "Dance in the Rhythm of the Universe.")
With an observant eye you can see mandala designs in many different forms from the Tibetan sand mandala to nature, art, and even architecture.
The most recognized of the Tibetan mandalas is the sand mandala. The process of creating these mandalas is meant to symbolize the cycles of life from creation back to its source.
The monks of Tibet create these beautifully intricate designs using colored sand and crushed semiprecious stones. It takes many hours and days to complete a sand mandala and each symbol within the mandala must be created with perfect precision each time.
When the mandala is completed the monks surround it in ceremony and as they chant they sweep the colorful sand that so precisely formed the mandala into a jar. The jar is then emptied into a local body of water and the symbolic cycle of life is complete.
Mandalas in Nature
Mandala designs in nature can be found in something as simple as a flower. The flower has a center and surrounding that center are beautiful petals. The inside structure of a snail's shell is a spiral that twists into the center. Even the rings found inside tree trunks can be looked upon as a mandala, as each ring graduates toward the center.
Our solar system can be considered a mandala form as each planet is part of and revolves around a center planet. For example the Milky Way galaxy our solar system holds within it our Earth.
Even microscopic cells each have a center or nucleus. The wholeness created in anything with a center that then radiates outward and inward is the basis of the mandala structure.
Mandalas in Art
Most mandalas found in art were created to reflect religious beliefs. In ancient times mandalas were created to depict visions and beliefs related to an individual's religion.
Native Americans create a mandala in the form of a medicine wheel. The Ancient Aztec calendar is not only used for timekeeping but also an expression of their religious beliefs.
The mandala image is used by Tibetans to expression great religious significance. They also use it in meditation. It is believed that meditating on the symbols within the mandala designs and slowly moving your focus to the center you will find the meaning within. Even the creation of the sand mandala mentioned previously is considered a form of deep meditation.
Mandalas in Architecture
In architecture the Buddhist stupa is the oldest and most prevalent form to reflect the structure and flow of the mandala. Stupas are a dome shaped structure designed to hold sacred relics.
You can also see the structural representation of a mandala in the construction of most cathedrals and churches of 12th century. These are structures build around a center point and include beautiful stained glass rose windows. These windows reflect a great spiritual presence.
I urge you to explore your world and discover the mandalas that appear in your everyday life. You will be surprised, at what you find in the wonders of your surroundings.
Create a personal mandala of your own that reflects your own personal spirituality. Make it a personal spiritual quest to open your heart and recognize the spiritual message of mandalas.
You can also download free printable mandala coloring pages.
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