Just Kids Question #9: Mandalas

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Just Kids Question #9: Mandalas

Unread postby fireflydances » Tue Aug 27, 2013 8:27 pm

Image


There was a set of discs intertwining the words EGO LOVE GOD merging them with his own name; they seemed to recede and expand over his flat surfaces. As I stared at them, I was compelled to tell him of my nights as a child seeing circular patterns radiating on the ceiling.

He opened a book on Tantric art.

“Like this?” he asked.

“Yes.”

I recognized with amazement the celestial circles of my childhood. A mandala.

Just Kids, pg. 40

The mandala is a Hindu or Buddhist graphic symbol of the universe. It is also a powerful tool for meditation. Carl Jung referred to the mandala as the ‘archetype of wholeness.’ Many artists also use the mandala. What about your own experience of the mandala? Is it something that draws you in? Have you ever drawn a mandala, or used it in a spiritual practice?
"Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed and some few to be chewed and digested." Sir Francis Bacon, Of Studies

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Re: Just Kids Question #9: Mandalas

Unread postby Gilbert's Girl » Wed Aug 28, 2013 2:09 am

Never seen one before. Pretty though.

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Re: Just Kids Question #9: Mandalas

Unread postby fireflydances » Wed Aug 28, 2013 8:25 pm

More mandala info. I think they are really useful tools. I pulled this off the following:


cross-cultural patterns
The mandala pattern is used in many religious traditions. Hildegard von Bingen, a Christian nun in the 12th century, created many beautiful mandalas to express her visions and beliefs.

In the Americas, Indians have created medicine wheels and sand mandalas. The circular Aztec calendar was both a timekeeping device and a religious expression of ancient Aztecs.

In Asia, the Taoist "yin-yang" symbol represents opposition as well as interdependence. Tibetan mandalas are often highly intricate illustrations of religious significance that are used for meditation.

different cultures, similar expressions
Both Navajo Indians and Tibetan monks create sand mandalas to demonstrate the impermanence of life.

In ancient Tibet, as part of a spiritual practice, monks created intricate mandalas with colored sand made of crushed semiprecious stones. The tradition continues to this day as the monks travel to different cultures around the world to create sand mandalas and educate people about the culture of Tibet.

The creation of a sand mandala requires many hours and days to complete. Each mandala contains many symbols that must be perfectly reproduced each time the mandala is created. When finished, the monks gather in a colorful ceremony, chanting in deep tones as they sweep their mandala into a jar and empty it into a nearby body of water as a blessing. This action also symbolizes symbolizes the cycle of life.

A world away, the American Navajo people also create impermanent sand paintings which are used in spiritual rituals–in much the same way as as they are used by Tibetans. A Navajo sandpainting ritual may last from five to nine days and range in size from three to fifteen feet or more.

mandalas in architecture
From Buddhist stupas to Muslim mosques and Christian cathedrals, the principle of a structure built around a center is a common theme in architecture.

Native American teepees are conical shapes built around a pole that represents the "axis mundi" or world axis.

Buckminster Fuller expanded on the dome design with his famous geodesic dome structures. The dome structure has the highest ratio of enclosed area to external surface area, and all structural members contribute equally to the whole--a great structural representation of a mandala!
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Re: Just Kids Question #9: Mandalas

Unread postby Gilbert's Girl » Thu Aug 29, 2013 2:20 am

:ok:

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Re: Just Kids Question #9: Mandalas

Unread postby Theresa » Sat Aug 31, 2013 10:11 pm

I have a coloring book of mandalas because I enjoy the kaleidoscope-like look of them. No, I don't use them in any kind of spiritual practice. But I can understand that creating one would be a calming and reflective practice; much like the meditative labyrinths that people walk. It's the repetitiveness that allows one to let the mind drift.

I much prefer a park bench and some quiet time outside in nature to meditate and reflect on God's creation.

Here is a really cool time-lapse video of Tibetan monks creating an intricate and beautiful mandala.


[youtube]GA3su0ECdPc[/youtube]

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Re: Just Kids Question #9: Mandalas

Unread postby Liz » Sat Aug 31, 2013 10:28 pm

I can totally relate to the enjoyment of making one......kind of like collaborating on a mural (which I've done).

What I think is cool, is that it is practiced in many religions. Not something I was aware of before.
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Re: Just Kids Question #9: Mandalas

Unread postby fireflydances » Sat Aug 31, 2013 11:09 pm

Thank you Theresa, really beautiful. It took my breath away how fast the mandala vanished. To make something that exquisite and that time-consuming and then, with the flick of a hand, a brush, to send it out, is amazing. You do that enough and change is no big deal.
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Re: Just Kids Question #9: Mandalas

Unread postby Gilbert's Girl » Sun Sep 01, 2013 3:30 am

Thank you Theresa, lovely, amazing. But also a shame they destroy it after all that work, but I guess that is part of the process.

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Re: Just Kids Question #9: Mandalas

Unread postby ibbi 3 » Sun Sep 01, 2013 3:06 pm

Ive been drawing mandala's for many years now. It's a great way to help meditation, but also a wonderfull way to express feelings/emotions, to watch which way they go while you create, and you can put a lot into them, so you can almost use them as an diary...
I love making them and it's also very interesting reading about them, there are many books about mandala's and their meanings.
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Re: Just Kids Question #9: Mandalas

Unread postby fireflydances » Sun Sep 01, 2013 5:33 pm

Thank you ibbi!! I used to draw and paint mandalas myself years ago. I still have some of them. They were a very useful tool -- calming, but as you say, illuminating in what they revealed.
"Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed and some few to be chewed and digested." Sir Francis Bacon, Of Studies


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