The Chaos Mandala

Chaos Mandala

According to the mandala principle, a central feature of Tantric Buddhism, all phenomena are part of one reality.Whether good or bad, happy or sad, clear or obscure, all are interrelated and reflect a whole. As Sokyam Trungpa explains in this work, from the perspective of zone theory, existence is orderly chaos.There is chaos and confusion as everything happens automatically, with no external ordering policy.At the same time, whatever is happening reveals order and intelligence, alert energy and precision. Through the meditative practices associated with the mandala principle, the opposites of experiential chaos and enlightenment, chaos and order, pain and pleasure are revealed as inseparable parts of a total vision of reality.

Chaos Mandala

Imagine yourself surrounded by chaos. How is that for you? Are you satisfied, curious, strong, excited, weak, afraid? How do you manage chaos? Do you help deal with it by creating order? With prayer, meditation or some other spiritual practice?

In the center of a large circle, place something that represents you when you are in the midst of chaos. It can simply be a colored circle, your name, a photo of you, or something that represents the spiritual practice you turn to when you need to be centered and grounded.

Chaos Mandala

Around the center, but within the larger circle, create chaos. You can do this in several ways:
• Write en masse with multi-colored markers, with no visible order or “art.”
• Cut out pictures from old magazines of things that confuse you. Glue them in the space between the center and the outer circle.
• Fill in the blanks with words that represent confusion for you.
• Or do a combination of all three – pictures, scribbles and words.

When you’re done, sit back and think about your zone.Does its confusion make you uncomfortable? Does it please you in an unexpected way? Are you wondering anything?
“Unless we understand the meaning of chaos and confusion, no one can save us from confusion or the state of samsara.Unless we enjoy it and not enjoy it. Otherwise, even if we are in the midst of confusion, we will not notice it. You won’t start noticing the mess until you’re already on track. Then you start feeling uncomfortable. You feel that something is bothering you. Something keeps bothering you. You already feel the confusion as you embark on the journey.

Chaos Mandala

Open yourself to chaos…

Confusion is an essential part of life. Chaos is where creative ideas are born. It creates ingenuity and new paradigms. We’ve all heard the saying, “Necessity is the mother of invention. “Confusion is the mother of invention,” You would add. Confusion feels uncomfortable. There is no solid ground to stand on. There is nothing known to believe. But chaos is absolutely necessary, and the sooner you can learn to embrace it, the sooner you’ll welcome change.

open Chaos Mandala

You have to be willing to step away from the known rock and into chaos, like a caterpillar that a clown must disintegrate into a chaotic chrysalis before abandoning all that is familiar, surrendering itself to the cocoon, and emerging as a butterfly. Unknown before you emerge strong and beautiful.

When doing mandalas, the greatest temptation is to seek order and move away from chaos. Time and again time,you hear people say “But… how do we make it symmetrical? How to ensure balance of sections? What if it’s not perfect? What you hear in these words is not just a desire to create something pleasing to the eye, but a fear of chaos. Many of us don’t want to create if the act of creativity means we have to mess up and make a mess of our lives.

The truth is that chaos is embedded in the act of creation itself. Nothing new can be created without some element of brokenness and chaos. A bird cannot grow unless it first breaks the eggshell that holds it. A seed cannot grow until it breaks its shell, then breaks through the soil and is exposed to light.

open Chaos Mandala
  1. A state of complete confusion or disorder; A total lack of organization or order.
  2. Any confused, disordered mass: a jumble of meaningless phrases.
  3. The infinity of space or formless matter which is said to precede the existence of an ordered universe.

What does chaos have do with mandala making? A lot. While making a mandala may seem like the most orderly thing in many traditions, it’s also about accepting some chaos in our lives and getting ready to till the soil in preparation for new seeds to grow. This week, we invite you to de-clutter your zones, let go of decision, stop worrying about perfection, and let creativity happen.

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