MANDALA – the word is from Sanskrit, a classical
Indian language developed over
2,300 years ago means circle.
The word means ‘infinite’ or a circle – Containment –
symbolizes-anything from the macro to the micro
The circle can symbolize
the dynamic of completeness.
In this therapeutic
context the circle symbolizes wholeness, – the whole self.
Mandala does not
‘belong’ to any particular culture or religion or person or
It has been used in
Western and Eastern religious practice, e.g.,
Orthodox Christian lead light windows, tiled floors
Tibetan monks - coloured sand mandalas
Christian mosaic icons etc.
Although initially the word appeared in Sanskrit, It was
picked up by one of the fathers of psychiatry -a colleague
of Freud, Carl Jung. Jung took two years off from his
practice of psychiatry and did his own healing through using
the use of the containment of the mandala. Jung developed
many of his theories from his own intra-psychic journey.
The mandala is also a symbol. Think about water as a symbol–
many cultures and religions have used water to symbolize
a variety of things e.g. cleanliness, emotion, life,
re-birth, self sacrifice, cleansing, etc.
Water, H2O, is essential to life, but, it has many
uses. The variety of usage doesn’t
change what it is.
In the same way, over the centuries the mandala has been
used for a variety of
purposes by different groups, i.e. worship, healing,
decoration etc., however it is
primarily ‘a circle’.
‘Awareness of the mandala may have the potential of changing
how we see ourselves,
our planet, and perhaps even our own life purpose’.