World Mandala is a contemporary collage mandala that I created from scraps of an old painting, vintage map pieces, and a few small magazine cut-outs. I made this mandala around the time of the vernal (Spring) equinox. When talking with a friend recently about the spiritual significance of the equinox, she told me that she associates it with balance, because the day and night are of equal length at this time. Balance – always something to strive for, but difficult to achieve. How can we balance all the aspects of life- work, exercise, sleep, doing what we love? Finding time for all the tasks that must be done, yet somehow finding time for yourself. Balance, so we don’t fall. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed, frazzled, out of balance.
I realized that in many ways, this piece is about balance. The mandala form is radially symmetrical; it is balanced in all directions. The basic design of this contemporary collage mandala is the wheel of the dharma, or Dharmachakra. It is one of the oldest Buddhist symbols, representing the teachings. The eight spokes symbolize the eight-fold path to enlightenment, a core concept in Buddhism. In between the spokes are parts of a topographical map. The design often has a yin/yang symbol in the center; mine is constructed from an image of the earth. The background is equally divided into a constellation map and a diagram of the universe, broken down from larger to smaller parts.
While mandalas are traditionally representations of the spiritual world, they are also symbolic of our inner selves. Just as we seek balance within ourselves, humanity must seek to live in balance with the earth. May we all find that balance. This contemporary collage mandala would bring beauty, harmony, and a sense of balance to any room in your home.