In Hindu and Buddhist traditions, the mandala is a sacred pattern that represents the entirety of the universe. However, religious and spiritual traditions from around the world recognize and celebrate the beauty and power of the mandala.
In Native American or indigenous cultures, the mandala appears as the Medicine Wheel or the Sacred Hoop. The well-known circular calendar that was created by the Aztecs is another example of a mandala. And of course we are all familiar with the popular Yin and Yang symbol, a Taoist interpretation of a mandala.
The word mandalas is translated to mean “circle”, but a mandala is so much more than just a simple geometric shape. Just as the circle is never ending, the mandala is here is remind us of our infinite being and our connection the entire universe.
Mandalas can be made by hand and they can also be found in nature. Regardless of their origin, the pattern and design of a mandala can be used for meditation, contemplation and deep introspection. It is said that as an individual meditates on the pattern of a mandala, they begin to receive access to a deep inner knowledge.
As all mandalas look and feel different, each one carries its own significance. When choosing a mandala to use for meditation, you should find one that speaks to you, that taps into a feeling that is indescribable with just words. The colors, the shapes – everything about it should intrigue your senses so that when you bring yourself to your meditation you experience a sense of curiosity.
The end goal of mandala meditation is clarity.