The Tibetan mandala is a tool for gaining wisdom and compassion and generally is depicted as a tightly balanced, geometric composition wherein deities reside. The principal deity is housed in the center. The mandala serves as a tool for guiding individuals along the path to enlightenment. Monks meditate upon the mandala, imagining it as a three-dimensional palace. The deities who reside in the palace embody philosophical views and serve as role models. The mandala’s purpose is to help transform ordinary minds into enlightened ones.
The children and teens at Fairhope Unitarian Fellowship spent a recent morning creating their very own mandala out of sidewalk chalk, the beautiful image depicts the Unitarian chalice and mother earth surrounded by a rainbow of colors. According to Buddhist scripture, sand mandalas transmit positive energies to the environment and to the people who view them.
Mandalas are traditionally constructed from sand are unique to Tibetan Buddhism and are believed to effect purification and healing. Typically, a great teacher chooses the specific mandala to be created. Monks then begin construction of the sand mandala by consecrating the site with sacred chants and music. Next, they make a detailed drawing from memory. Over a number of days, they fill in the design with millions of grains of colored sand. At its completion, the mandala is consecrated. The monks then enact the impermanent nature of existence by sweeping up the colored grains. If you’re lucky enough like I was years ago, I had the privilege of watching visiting monks create sand mandalas, it was an amazing and beautiful experience.
A mandala’s healing power extends to the whole world even before it is swept up and dispersed into flowing water—a further expression of sharing the mandala’s blessings with all.
Read more about the Tibetan Healing Mandala HERE