The Sanskrit word mandãla translates as sacred circle or enclosing the essence.
Mandalas are an image of the world and of the Universal Spirit, a representation of the metaphysical cosmos. By organizing the Time/Space continuum within a single disc, they offer us an all-embracing, global cosmovision. In contemplating a mandala, the seeker can experience a mystical sense of oneness with the manifold world.
Traditional mandalas—such as those of Tibetan Buddhism—have a threefold sacred circle:
a pulsing heart center, dwelling place of "the unmanifest clarity, emptiness, and boundless awareness of the primordial realm." 1
a middle realm of focused aim, where "the full richness of the luminous imaginal realm" 2 can be found.
an outer realm filled with the experiences of the phenomenal world.
The threefold construct echoes the physical (body), mental (mind) and causal (spirit) domains described by most mystical traditions. Yet in essence the mandala remains a holographic model of the cosmos, in which each point of the circle can be a living center.
"Mandalas both stand for and help to overcome the conflict of the many and the one, the diffuse and the concentrated, the differentiated and the undifferentiated, the external and the internal, the visible illusion and the invisible reality, space-time and extraspatial timelessness." 3
These forms do not leave anything out: they inherently state that all life is sacred. Indeed, they are the ideal model for the organizational structure of life itself. From the understanding that the universe is but a manifestation of consciousness, they fully function as an internal map of our psyche.
But far from being just a static image of synthesis, mandalas exist as true microcosms of our self-propelling universe, and are thus a driving source of energy.