Sacred Geometry unifies many sacred symbols found in different cultures and spiritual traditions around the world. In Asia, we find the term ‘Mandala’ or ‘Yantra’, which are objects of devotion in Buddhism, Hinduism, and Jainism. Mandala means “circle” in Sanskrit and symbolises aspects of the Universe, while Yantra means ‘machine’ and often represents deities in the Tantric traditions.
Both are used as a schematic visual representation of the cosmos to help gain a higher state of consciousness. Internally, they act as a guide for several psychophysical practices such as meditation, prayer, healing and art therapy.
Information is processed with our analytical and logical left-sided brain, while creativity, imagining, and connection to feelings are associated with the right side of the brain. When both sides are “in harmony” it brings us to a whole new enlightened state, where we feel better, stronger and more connected to ourselves, each other and our surroundings. This can be achieved with Mandalas.
Mandalas are geometric in nature, which is an expression of mathematics, the language of logic. Numbers connect to multiple disciplines within the sciences and therefore naturally stimulates the left-sided brain.
The creation of Mandalas involves artistic skills, working with visually compelling images that embody harmony. Thus, it is not surprising that drawing Mandalas is beneficial for learning and inspiration.
By creating a different state of mind, one can elevate more quickly into Alpha waves. This, in turn, will make it easier to learn new materials, change old habits. In other words, it’s an ideal state of mind to change situations in our lives. When we practice meditation we actually teach our mind and body a new consciousness. This is enhanced when we incorporate Mandala gazing.
In the beginning, it is always a bit difficult to ‘see’ the layers of shapes that are contained within a Mandala. However, after some time, we learn to differentiate between what we should focus on and what we can blend out. The same goes for life itself when we are able to shift our attention from details to the greater picture.
Researchers of the University of Zurich and Ohio have seen what is happening in people’s brains when they react to patterns. MRI analysis showed that the brain processes pattern learning in a different way than probabilistic learning, with increased activity in the ventromedial prefrontal cortex, which is associated with reward. The hippocampus was another part of the brain that was particularly active. Thus, activity in both brains showed that participants were reacting more efficiently, when participants were figuring out patterns (published 2018, Neuron).
Can we think better when we work with Mandalas?
Pattern recognition is important when making decisions and judgments and acquiring knowledge. In contrary, we tend to be uneasy with chaos and chance. Geometry is all about rules and therefore conjure up ideas about orderliness, efficiency, predictability, accuracy, and, thanks to Plato’s concept of Ideal Forms, the striving for perfection.