Mirror of Peace
English" In the garden of my soul, you are born and you grow you, oh beautiful flowers, stars and circles who appear out of the origin of the universe. I nourish you with my celestial love, Then bring you into terrestrial being. You, oh Mandalas, you are the mirror Of creation and beatitude. Be messengers of peace and joy on earth. Become illuminators of knowledge and wisdom."
The Mandala is a concentration aid: by focusing the attention, it allows one to progress towards the goal of all the Yogas: the arresting of all mental activity so that the Divine, or the Self, may reveal itself. The self in the Upanishads is said to be as vast as the universe and, at the same time smaller than a mustard seed. By progressively bringing the multiplicity of the Mandalas exterior towards its central point, the "bindu", one follows a spiral movement which takes one from the infinite variety within the universe to the extreme simplicity of the Self.
The original meaning of the word 'Mandala' is 'circle' from which we get the image of the universe as a disc when the horizon is observed from far out at sea or high up in the mountains. The Mandala gives an order to what at first seems to be an incoherent multiplicity of things - it is an agent for transforming chaos of the cosmos. The Mandala also organizes our internal universe - it assists in controlling and regulating this inner world.
A synonym for mandala is "yantra" which carries the meaning of control, restriction and, at the same time, an instrument and an aid. As with statues of divinities. the Mandala requires a special meditation at the beginning of its existence to inspire (literally "inspirer" in French) - "prana-pratistha" the power of the divinity. More importantly, according to Indian tradition, the way of meditating on the Mandala is transmitted by the spiritual master and thus his presence is closely associated with the material image.
MARLIS LADURÉE has found a file line between the tradition of the Mandala and her own creativity. In following the fundamental principle of the Mandala the circle of the square she brings more sun to us on Earth.
C.G. JUNG realized the essential value of using the Mandala in therapeutic practice. Two generations after his death, the practical and theoretical knowledge of the Orient and its spirituality has been greatly developed: the Mandala as a form and as a meditation aid has come into its own. There is no longer any need for a special stamp of approval from the specialists in psychopathology who, although they contributed much in the beginning are more cumbersome than anything else today. My initial training as a psychiatrist allows me to speak with a certain personal experience.
The Mandala represents a balance between the multiple and Unity. While western psychotherapy offers an interesting addition to the analysis of the multitude of mental schemes, it suites grievously from is lack of attention to Unity, which is at once the basis and the crowning of all inner life. Therapies, generally speaking, use limited techniques for limited goals - spiritual development is a long unfettered and spontaneous apprenticeship.
The Mandala is a powerful tool for memorizing hymns and texts for those who recite them according to the tradition. Its power lies in the fact that memorizing is made easier and more precise if the eyes are fixed on the same point. The Mandala is a sort of tunnel that allows one to penetrate intuitively the structure of the universe -to discover the Sell' or the adjacent Emptiness. The Tibetans say that one has to realize the emptiness of the Mandala of a given divinity. This allows one to go beyond the usual concern of the "psychorigid" rationalist who habitually asks. "Are divinities real or imaginary ?". They are no more real or imaginary than the eyes of the one who meditates upon them. When the ego disappears, the torn of the divinity disappears also.
The repetition of the multiplicity of forms in the Mandala reminds one of the multi dimensional structures found in nature from the geometric shapes of crystals to the shapes found in the plant and animal worlds. Finding the same structure over and over again but at different levels of existence is indicative of the law of the economy of energy both for nature and for the human mind. When one identifies these patterns, these analogies whether it be through scientific means or through meditation, one begins to understand something. Having these landmarks in the "ferra incognita" allows one to feel secure which is essential in the journey towards the point where mental activity ceases. Through "crystalline" meditation, the inner eye of the sage discerns, in the
apparent chaos of the world, a pattern as regular as that of the diamond - or that of the Mandala. In fact the Mandala itself, is an eye - the "bindu" standing for the pupil with the iris around it. If the eye is the mirror of the soul then the Mandala is that of the mind. One of the words in sanskrit for mirror is "mandalakam".
Thus, the Mandala looking at us evokes "Brahman" the Absolute. To quote the Kena Upanishad "That which is not seen by the eye but by which the eye sees -know that to be Brahman. Brahman is not the being who is worshipped by men". In his own way a spiritual guide is also a mandala -his own secret harmony inviting us to discovery and contemplation.
If we consider the Mandala as a dome or a well, a third dimension opens up to us: verticality. According to the rules of construction of a Hindu temple, a narrow well of the same length as the tower has to he dug under the tower. A variety of grains and water from the Ganges are placed at the bottom of the well. This act serves as a symbol of continuous growth from the fertile birth of life to the summit of spiritual evolution. The Mandala, the dome and the well all invite us to partake in this spiritual ascension.
As soon as we begin to feel a particular part of our body becomes energized during meditation, the Tibetans advise us to concentrate on the central point within this zone. This zone, as it were becomes a sort of Mandala of the In India there are many different types of spiritual practices - Yogas which guide one towards the Absolute. Each has its own place like trees in the same forest or members of the same family - the reason I have come to love this country where I have lived for the past ten years. Amongst these practices, the geometric Mandala with its pure forms, represents a half way stage between a statue with a human lace, which everyone is able to contemplate, and that without tom - for higher types of meditation. Given the geometric figures we could call it a rough copy in the truest sense of the term. This is no doubt why I wanted to put Mandalas on the covers of my three books on psycho-spirituality. This is also why the publishers, ALBIN MICHEL chose to put a Mandala on the cover of the catalogue of their collection on spirituality. By reducing the human body to its simplest expression, the
Mandala becomes a universal symbol and reminds of the time of Pythagorus when geometry was considered to be a branch of wisdom.
The boundless symbolism of the Mandala demands to be treated by a European such as MARLIS LADURÉE whose express wish is to have the text of her book presented in three languages: French, English and German. It's not by accident that her works were exhibited in Berlin at the University of Pence, which was presided over by the DALAÏ-LAMA.
The Mandala is the mark of the Divine -the stamp of the Invisible on the Visible; its outer square represents the Earth and the inner circle is like a flower.
May MARLIS LADURÉE, in the springtime of her art, bring many more flowers to bloom on our Earth.
Doctor Jacques Vigne Psychiatrist France - India