The Marvelous Mysterious Mandala

 Sea, Wishfulness, by Annette Hadley, 2010

Sea, Wishfulness, by Annette Hadley, 2010

Back in summer of 2010, I was introduced to the mandala during a trauma recovery therapy session. It started as simply as this gentle prompt from my therapist as she gave me paper and pastel chalk: "Draw a circle. Now fill it in." We did some additional work around what I drew, and now, 100 mandalas later, my love and appreciation for them has deepened immensely.

From my own hand drawn ones to all other forms.

Woah! Let's back up. What's a mandala you ask?

It's just a circle. And so much more. Because the circle itself is so rich in meaning, considered among different cultures and faith traditions a symbol that:

  • Is universal, sacred and divine
  • Signifies family ties, closeness & protection
  • Represents the infinite nature of energy, of the notions of totality, wholeness, original perfection, the infinite, eternity, timelessness.

And finally, a perfect circle is symbolic of something that is whole, complete, ideal and eternal; a circle has no ending and no beginning.

I just love that! What do you think about it? Let's take it a step further into its place as a mandala.

If you ask Wikipedia, here's what you get: A mandala (Sanskrit: मण्डल, lit, circle) is a spiritual and ritual symbol in Indian religions, representing the universe. And I would add that the mandala/circle that represents the universe just happens to manifest itself in countless forms throughout our own little mandala/sphere called earth.

It is those manifestations I've fallen in love with, that I am drawn to like a moth to light. Mandalas are found in nature and architecture, natural creations and drawn designs, coloring books and specialty books. They may be round or create a round pattern. They may be spheres. They are created from repurposed broken bits of glass and other bits and bobs. They form on the floor when I'm sweeping up a broken Pyrex measuring cup, They show up as a glass of fresh squeezed orange juice. 

 Pyrex Breaks 

Pyrex Breaks 

 Costa Rica Plant

Costa Rica Plant

 Summer in a Glass 

Summer in a Glass 

I zero in on them wherever I go.

Why does this matter? How does this happen? Because I have the mandala appreciation gene, of course! Those blessed with eyes to see experience a deeper awareness of the endless beauty of creation, the marvelous handiwork of craftsman, and the reminder of an eternal universal connection.

It's like there's a bit of software in my brain that registers the shape "circle" and I immediately experience a sense of one or more of the following:

Costa Rica mandala spheres.png
  • Path
  • Calm
  • Peace
  • Beauty
  • Eternity
  • Mystery
  • Curiosity
  • Symmetry
  • Wholeness
  • Nourishment
  • Completeness
  • Playfulness (who doesn't love to play ball?

I want to linger and soak it up. My brain circle software reminds me: 

  • Oh, my! Get a photo of that!

And so I do.

Here are some mandala photos from my most recent travel to London, Nice, and Monaco.

 From left: Monaco Mystery, Hilton Paddington Lamp, Nice Stonemasonry, London Chandelier

From left: Monaco Mystery, Hilton Paddington Lamp, Nice Stonemasonry, London Chandelier

My favorite mandala manifestation right now is the chandelier. Along with the power of the circle, in comes the power of light and all that it represents: power, beauty, illumination, possibilities. Abstract? Perhaps. Perfection? Definitely. I'm like a kid in a candy store when I find chandeliers to photograph. And they're so perfect because they offer a variety difference of perspectives, often mandalas within mandalas. 

Having introduced the chandelier as mandala, I invite you to my online store where you can purchase prints of my first collection, all photos taken in Russia in 2015.

Spasibo (thanks)!

So look around you. And up. And down. Repeat. Discover the marvelous mysterious mandala.

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