The word “mandala” is from the classical Indian language of Sanskrit. Loosely translated to mean “circle,” a mandala is far more than a simple shape. It represents wholeness, and can be seen as a model for the organizational structure of life itself–a cosmic diagram that reminds us of our relation to the infinite, the world that extends both beyond and within our bodies and minds.
Describing both material and non-material realities, the mandala appears in all aspects of life: the celestial circles we call earth, sun, and moon, as well as conceptual circles of friends, family, and community.
Last Friday we started working on personal Mandalas. We talked in class a bit about the history of mandalas. We looked at some videos of Tibetan monks creating beautiful and complicated mandalas from sand. We also looked on-line at many examples of mandalas, both traditional and contemporary.
Here are two links that show the process of the Tibetan monks making the sand mandalas.
In class you will create your own mandala with paper, pencil, tracing paper, colored pencils, and/or crayon.
Here are some examples of mandalas.