A 40 Year "Retrospective Journey"

“Be good, keep your feet dry,
your eyes open, your heart at peace
and your soul in the joy of Christ.”
Thomas Merton

October 29, 2008

New Delhi Dawn

October 29, 1968

"Early morning in New Delhi.
A soft rose light, vast gentleness of sky.
Kites hopping around on the flat roofs
of very modern houses.
The domes in the smoky distance.
The distant throbbing of a drum."
AJTM p.56

Thomas Merton notes in his journal that he has much to read. "Tucci's "The Theory and Practice of the Mandala", Desjardins' "Message des Tibetains", the Dalai Lama's pamphlet on Buddhism, essays by Marco Pallis, Trungpa..."

The Mystical Mandala
Merton seems most fascinated with the Mandala and makes extensive notes from Giuseppe Tucci's book. I've looked at a number of definitions and descriptions of the Mandala and find that Wikipedia is a pretty good start

Mandala (Sanskrit "circle", "completion") is a term used to refer to various objects. It is of Hindu origin, but is also used in other Dharmic religions, such as Buddhism. In the Tibetan branch of Vajrayana Buddhism, they have been developed into sandpainting. In practice, mandala has become a generic term for any plan, chart or geometric pattern that represents the cosmos metaphysically or symbolically, a microcosm of the Universe from the human perspective...

Yamantaka Mandala

...In various spiritual traditions, mandala may be employed for focusing attention of aspirants and adepts, a spiritual teaching tool, for establishing a sacred space and as an aid to meditation and trance induction. Its symbolic nature can help one "to access progressively deeper levels of the unconscious, ultimately assisting the meditator to experience a mystical sense of oneness with the ultimate unity from which the cosmos in all its manifold forms arises." The psychoanalyst Carl Jung saw the mandala as "a representation of the unconscious self," and believed his paintings of mandalas enabled him to identify emotional disorders and work towards wholeness in personality." Wikipedia

Thomas Merton quotes Tucci in describing the Mandala as a map of both the cosmos and the soul... "the disintegration of the One to the many and the reintegration from the many to the One..." AJTM p.59

Be whole... Rob

"From the body of the unborn essence arises the sphere of light, and from that sphere of light arises wisdom. From the wisdom arises the seed syllable and from the seed syllable arises the complete Mandala, the deity and the retinue." Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche


Sand Mandala

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