The Buddhist Mandala is very sacred, especially in Tibet where they are vital to meditation, focus and some of their most interesting practices such as creating a sand mandala. In fact in Tibet the monks do not call it a Mandala but in fact call it a Kyil-Khors. To many Buddhists it is a way of drawing or creating something that represents and encompasses the universe. The stars, the moon, everything about life itself in one still picture.
The Mandala is a window and through meditation the universe can be seen from the viewpoint of the Mandala.
Meditation with Buddhist Mandala
Meditation is of course very important in Buddhism and Mandalas can play an important role. The Tibetan Monks would create one which would represent the part of life they would like to meditate on. It would be used as a visual point to look at in meditation to remind them why they are meditating and the importance of it. This would guide the monk through the journey of their meditation and keep them on the path to enlightenment.
It can be even more important when a person needs not just enlightenment but personal healing. They are a source of positivity. If someone is struggling to cope with issues of death they could create a Mandala or find one which to them embodies life. As it must be a whole symbol it is often seen as a way of viewing life. The energies of the world continuing infinitely like the neverending circle. Focusing on one that brings thoughts of life and rebirth can bring peace to a mind otherwise ailing with negative thoughts of the life death cycle.
There are a near infinite number of focuses you can have but a popular one within the Buddhist faith was naturally the portrayal of a deity. A monk may meditate on a deity and think about things higher than themselves to both expand their minds while also focusing on the humbling thoughts of respecting those more enlightened than yourself. The Mandala is seen as a palace and contains many ‘objects’ as reminders of the paths of thinking to follow during the meditation. Despite sometimes representing many things and being complex diagrams with many elements to focus on, some very skilled monks could actually visualise a Mandala and all of the elements to reflect on within without having a physical mandala in front of them.