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Sketch of the Three-Deity Mandala of the Auspicious Beginning

In general, all mandalas have outer,
inner, and secret meaning. On the outer level
they represent the world in its divine form; on the
inner level, they represent a map by which the ordinary
human mind is transformed into the enlightened mind;
and on the secret level, they predict the primordially
perfect balance of the subtle energies of the body
and the clear light dimension of the mind. 
The Tibetan Monks of Drepung Gomang Monastery

Mandala is a Sanskrit word meaning a disc or sacred circle,
symbolising a harmonious universe. Though the spiritual use
of mandalas forms a central part of Buddhist and Hindu practice,
their creation is a part of every indigenous culture.

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Mexican pendant

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Bighorn Medicine Wheel, Wyoming
(Photo credit: Airphoto ~ Jim Wark)

Beyond that, every animal, vegetable and mineral is formed from mandalas,
as the circle and spiral is core to everything in nature, from an atom
to the iris of your eye, a peony and a galaxy.

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The mandala of an Echinacea flower...

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an onion...

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a diatom...
(photo credit ~ Britanica)

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a snowflake...
(photo credit ~ Kenneth G. Libbrecht)

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..and a cymatic image of the first star sound ever made visible.
(photo credit: John Stuart Reid,

When creating harmony in one’s home, for example, the
house and grounds form a mandala, within which the house
is its own mandala, within which each room is a mandala:
fractal-like, the whole is contained in the smallest part,
just as the smallest part is contained within the whole.

Similarly, your extended family forms a mandala,
within which you and your particularly close family
create a mandala, within which each individual is
a mandala ~ composed of galaxies of mandalic cells.

I saw that everything, all paths I had been following,
all steps I had taken, were leading back to a single point -
namely, to the mid-point.It became increasingly plain to me
that the mandala is the centre. It is the exponent of all paths.
It is the path to the centre, to individuation.
... I knew that in finding the mandala as an expression
of the self I had attained what was for me the ultimate.
Carl Jung

The first mandala image Jung ever created.
Feb '15: removed for copyright reasons:
shortly to be replaced by a sketch :)

When you, as one cell within the body of our planet,
clarify the mandala of your being, you begin to shine more brightly,
allowing our enfolding planetary mandala to also refine its radiation.

This chapter suggests a process whereby you can do this, providing you with a
holistic and experiential tool with which you can begin to deepen your connection
with your inner truth and creativity, with heaven and earth, and with the Zhouyi.

the process

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Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find
all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.


If you want to try going through the mandala of being
process, make sure you have at least an hour totally
undisturbed, preferably an hour and a half.

If you take it on as a practice, you’ll begin feeling
familiar enough to personalize it, developing
your own flow and likely streamlining the process.

But to begin with, you need the peace of mind of knowing
you have more than enough time to go deeper than expected.

Remember that the guidance on journeying through
the five steps is just provided to give you a framework:
if you already have your own method for any of the stages,
such as a meditation you feel at home using, or an effective
method of working with your dreams, just substitute that instead.

As well as uninterrupted time and space, you’ll also need art materials
(see chapter six) and a big sheet of paper: suggestions on making a
looseleaf, pocket-sized journal of vast dimensions are also in chapter six.

Also, your I Ching coins and an interpretation of the Zhouyi
you resonate with, as described in chapter two, something to
listen to music through, and, if possible, access to the internet.

You may also want to ensure your surrounding space is uncluttered,
and to light a candle and some incense to honor the time
you’re dedicating to re-memberance of the sacred.

If you have a partner who’s open-minded enough
to explore this with you, it can lead very swiftly to unprecedented
levels of intimacy and reconnection, as you’re simultaneously devoting
‘soul time’ to one another, as well as to all the other facets.

You can go through the process whenever you want, but my suggestion
is to use it on the new moon, as a monthly ritual. Through honouring the changing
flow of cosmic energies in this way, you're allowing yourself to become entrained
to them as well as to your inner truth, the natural world and the Zhouyi.

This awareness can be refined by deepening your conscious understanding
of the influences of the particular new moon you’re working with.

When humans participate in ceremony, they enter a sacred space.
Everything outside of that space shrivels in importance.
Time takes on a different dimension. Emotions flow more freely.
The bodies of participants become filled with the energy of life,
and this energy reaches out and blesses the creation around them.
All is made new; everything becomes sacred.
Sun Bear

Ritual is an immensely potent way to step out of the everyday
into an altered reality of communion with the subtle realms of spirit, because
really what one’s doing is respectfully acknowledging that other world, embodying
one’s desire to make contact with it ~ as long as one always remembers that the
outer form of the ritual only ever manifests as much integrity as the inner truth
which it is expressing; the light which it contains and transmits.

This is why the Zhouyi guides us that a simple,
humble ritual can have more love, truth and power
than an elaborate one which has lost touch with the heart.

© shenpen chökyi 2013-2014