What Is Mandala ?

Mandala is a gathering place where the Buddhas miraculously appear, where we focus our spiritual energy. It is where the spiritual synergy comes from many people, from a group, an organization or a community, with participants all taking part harmoniously, and consequently opening up their minds. As a result, they can feel the exterior lights of the Buddhas, or the inner lights of their own minds.

Mandala is nothing new. In fact, it is the philosophy of our patriarchs from thousands of years ago. Today we practice the meaning of Mandala in a much easier way so everyone can cultivate.

This is a spiritual cultivation that elevates the quality and essence of Buddhism to get rid of superstition, fanaticism, and delusion. This is the practice to help us open our minds. Each one of us in this Bodhi-mandala will feel and understand why it is a very open process and not a delusion, from the invocation, mantra recitation to meditation.

1)  The philosophy of Mandala uses a symbol to represent True Mind. What is the symbol of True Mind? It is the Mani jewel. This Mani jewel is placed at the center of the Mandala. Everyone will concentrate on this Mani Jewel and envision it as one’s own mind, then visualize that it is centered, not in the center of the Mandala, but in one’s own heart and radiating light.

2)  The practice of Mandala is a self-cultivation method, not a superstition. It helps us understand that we have to open the Mani jewels in our minds. Reciting the mantra helps us to open our own innate lights. It is the most profound philosophy because it uses a symbol for True Mind.

3)  This Mandala enables sangha communities to come and practice together, without membership, without charge, without monthly fee, and without taking refuge. All we have to do is to come and practice together, feel inspired, and then go home. We can continue to practice at home if we want. But what kind of influence does this community cultivation practice create? – It creates the synergy of harmonious frequencies from each and every one’s heart. Such great synergy can directly influence everyone’s consciousness in our community, in our groups; even those sitting in the mandala can feel its power. We want to create such great synergy to change everyone’s level of consciousness in the community.

This is the essence of our monthly Mandala practice in this Orange County. I hope that other places like San Jose, Dallas, Houston, and Montreal can set up a small Mandala too, since many cultivators there have learned and participated in this practice before. The number of participants should be roughly 140 to 180, maximum 200. The important thing is to make sure that cultivators can come back monthly to their local mandala for practice. Then they can cultivate more at home.

You all are cordially invited to participate in this Mandala practice.

Master Hằng Trường

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