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Last change: February 22, 1997.

Mandala

The idea of using mandala's with dreams comes from Patricia Garfield 's Pathway to Ecstacy (see my annotated list of books on dreaming), where she tells how she used a mandala for visually representing her dreams. I think she primarily used the mandala for personal growth. I originally started using it for getting to terms with my disease. Luckily my disease it not that pervasive anymore and lately my dreams seem to direct me to more lucidity.

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Fred Astaire Mandala

Walking a cirkle like Fred Astaire I rarely have lucid dreams but if I do it's usually stimulated by clues in the surroundings of the dream. In one dream I was locked indoors and couldn't find my way out because doors and rooms kept appearing and disappearing. It took some time but finally I realized there was something impossible going on.

The Fred Astaire dream is a special version of the surroundings clue. I found myself walking a circle in the air, like Fred Astaire danced over the walls and the ceiling. The solidness of the air under my feet surprised me. Later, after I woke up, I also saw the reference to mandala's.


May 17, 1996.

My Healing Mandala

My own mandala In spring 1990 I dreamt of flying high above the American continent. I was looking back at my life and concluded that I had done everything I had wanted to do. This made me feel happy but at the same time I had a strong feeling of loneliness that I couldn't explain. At the time of this dream I was 24 and interpreted my age in the dream as at least my mid-fifties. So it looked like a warning dream with plenty of time to correct whatever needed to be corrected. Although I didn't quite understand what exactly might go wrong with my life. Later it turned out that I misinterpreted the age in my dream. I felt I nearly died only four years after the dream. This dream was the first prediction of my current disease and I gave it a prominent place in the mandala.

In autumn 1992 I did a guided meditation on the heart. My heart was surrounded by a thick wall of coagulated lava. The lava exploded and I found myself lying in the middle of a very peaceful meadow. I understood that I would be forced to lead a totally different lifestyle within a few years but couldn't foresee the exact details. I gave the mandala an outer ring of lava. The green meadow can be found in the sacred center of the mandala.

The enforcer Spring 1996, after more than two years of the disease, I dreamt of a man that appeared from nowhere in the kitchen of my own house and who paralyzed me right into unconsciousness. Mind you, the disease had thrown me in a dreamless and unconscious state for a period of six months. After that my dreaming function has been much below what I consider normal and I've never able to get some answers with help of my dreams. So I tend to see this man as a guard, even more because I've never been beaten by a dream character before. I've placed him at the west entrance of my mandala.

Owl The owl suddenly appeared to me when I was thinking of an animal that could help me recovering. He's now at the south entrance of my mandala.

I've made a little animation of the mandala to make it slightly more realistic, closer to the actual dreams. It's rather large, but it loads fast. I have no figures for the entrances at the east and north yet, but they will come.

My own mandala


Resources

I've found several resources that explain how mandala's can be made. I was amazed to find a page explicitly dedicated to Making Mandalas by Ceci Henningsson. The Medicine Wheel by Thomas Pinkson will also help you to get started. Patrick George's Buddhist Tantric Diagrams explains the construction of mandala's . He has related pages on Hindi Tantric Diagrams and the design of Vedic Altars and Indian Temples. Be warned, this last page has over a dozen large gif-images, no text.

Bruce Jones has published some of his own personal Sacred Circles at his homepage. Also visit Ray Whiting's Way of Mandala showing many of his mandala's. If you know of others who have published their own mandala's, please tell me.

More backgrounds can be found in the Annotated Mandala Bibiliography of Iain Sinclair, Tibetan Painted Mandalas written by Jane Casey Singer and in BuddhaNet: Mandalas Symbolism.

Tree of Life by Hildegard of Bingen I'd like to have more links to sites on European mandalas in the Middle Ages. Thus far, I've only found some info on Hildegard of Bingen, provided by Bonnie Duncan. The mandala on the left is the Tree of Life painted by Hildegard of Bingen. These and others are fully sized available at Bonnie Duncan's page.

Some artists will make a mandala for you. I like how some of these artists introduce themselves. See ie Barbara Goodwin's Mandala Page, Sacred Symbols or Karyn's Page.

Animated mandala It makes me dizzy but it also has a hypnotizing quality, it draws you inside. The yin and yan in the center is a nice touch. This mandala is one of several made by Lisa Konrad.


Harry Bosma is looking forward to comments, email him at hbosma@xs4all.nl. For dream interpretations please visit the Mythwell.com site for the Alchera dreaming software.

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