Mandalas: Tools for Transformation – Ep. 266
In this fast paced teaching recorded at the New York Open Center, Professor Thurman introduces the Buddha’s teachings through an exploration of Buddhist Mandalas and their counterparts across history and in Western culture.
Opening with an overview of the architecture used in the design of Buddhist Tantric mandalas Robert Thurman uses personal stories, popular culture and world history to demystify the intricate tools of inner and outer transformation they contain.
“Mandala is an ancient Sanskrit word meaning “sacred circle that protects the soul.” It also refers to the sacred cosmograms that serve as core symbols of all cultures. Westerners have been fascinated for centuries about the mandalas of the Hindu-Buddhist cultures of Asia, most often painted geometric diagrams of great beauty and sophistication, that draw the viewer into a realm of balance, harmony, and calm. But such diagrams are actually architectural blueprints of the purified realm of bliss that we can only realize through enlightenment. They represent three-dimensional spaces of personal and communal exaltation, palaces for the regal confidence of love, compassion, and universal satisfaction of self and other. Understanding their role in anchoring the world-picture of a culture or a person provides a new insight into the “mandalas” of our own culture – the national space anchored by the Washington monument and its environs, or the personal cosmological space anchored by the models of the solar system, the DNA double-helix molecule, and the atom.”
-Robert A.F. Thurman
This episode is an excerpt from “World Mandala” by Robert A.F. Thurman, Available via www.betterlisten.com.
The Bob Thurman podcast is produced under a Creative Commons Non-Commercial, No Derivatives License through the generous support of its listening audience and the Tibet House US Menla membership community. To learn about the benefits of membership please visit: www.tibethouse.us.
The songs “Trance Tibet” & ‘Dancing Ling’ by Tenzin Choegyal from the album ‘Heart Sutra‘ (2004) by Ethno Super Lounge are used on the Bob Thurman Podcast with artist’s permission, all rights reserved.