A brief history of Mandalas

We can find circular shapes very early in the history – the cravings on the walls of caves across the globe, Stonehenge is designed to reflect a circular shape, the floorplans of some temples (such as Borobudur in Indonesia), church labyrinths and cathedrals all have this circular shapes in common. But do not look far, the essence of life could be found in circular shapes as well. 

First of all, we come from a womb, which is a circle in itself, where we were formed from an egg, also a circle. As we come out to this world, we live on a round planet with a ball-like satellite following it. Our planet rotates in a circular motion around the sun, which revolves in our galaxy. When you look inside yourself, we can find many circular atoms each having protons rotation around their nucleus. No wonder that circular shapes calm us down, creating the feeling of safety.  

Tibetan mandalas are used by monks for meditation, initiation and as a symbol of impermanence (when they are destroyed in a ritual). Mandalas have a spiritual meaning in some religions and for yoga. It is by no means a tool for self-reflection, self-discovery, meditation, practicing patience, creativity, and many more.

In Jung’s psychology, a mandala is a reflection of your state of mind. It will change together with the changes in your mental state. Hence, in therapies, mandalas often interpreted to get to the essence of the subconscious mind and its states.

Mandala could also be visualized, especially in meditative states. In Yoga Nidra, Mandala may be sometimes instilled in the consciousness during the practice by the instructor, as a visual to imagine. When you see mandalas in your dreams, or they come naturally to you when you are meditating, practicing yoga nidra, or simply closing your eyes to relax, it is considered a sign of achieving a high level of mastery in practice and unlocking the powers of the subconscious mind.

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