Mandalas take on countless sizes, shapes and forms and are a tool for gaining perspective, expanding thought and relaxing the mind. This excerpt from The Power of Myth by Joseph Campbell provides an excellent description of how a mandala works.

Excerpt from the Power of Myth:

CAMPBELL: “Mandala” is the Sanskrit word for “circle,” but a circle that is coordinated or symbolically designed so that it has the meaning of a cosmic order. When composing mandalas, you are trying to coordinate your personal circle with the universal circle. In a very elaborate Buddhist mandala, for example, you have the deity in the center as the power source, the illumination source. The peripheral images would be manifestations or aspects of the deity’s radiance.
In working out a mandala for yourself, you draw a circle and then think of the different impulse systems and value systems in your life. Then you compose them and try to find out where your center is. Making a mandala is a discipline for pulling all those scattered aspects of your life together, for finding a center and ordering yourself to it. You try to coordinate your circle with the universal circle.
MOYERS: To be at the center?
CAMPBELL: At the center, yes….

My personal mandala has been evolving over the past few years. It is the place I can go at any time to pause and reflect, to pray, to meditate, or just sit in quiet contemplation in an empty space between the lines for a while. – Clay Boykin

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Mandala – Clay Boykin 2015

Available on Etsy: 11×17 cardstock, suitable for framing




Crisis, Catharsis, Contemplation and Inner Peace

Can anything good come from being in crisis?

Intellectually we know the answer is yes, however, in the moment of crisis this intellectual knowing is furthest from our mind, and true inner knowing may only come years down the road, if at all. Crisis and the resulting trauma, like a cloud, blocks the light of our higher consciousness and hides the essence of our true inner-knowing.

While others may hold space for us with the knowing that there is life after crisis, whether physically or metaphysically, we cannot hear this truth in the moment as physical survival is at the core of our human nature.

Catharsis may eventually follow and manifest as a physical and mental release from the emotional trauma of the crisis, and if we are awake to the fact that catharsis is not an end unto itself, we are able to move into deep contemplation and grow beyond catharsis.

It is here in deep contemplation where both meditation and concentration merge to enable us to begin to absorb and digest the higher truth of what has happened and begin to return to or find a higher level of consciousness and begin to apply what has been learned.

Eventually, we embody the higher truth of our journey from crisis through catharsis and contemplation, and emerge a better person and find inner peace. ~ Clay Boykin