Posted in Essay, Spiritual Practice, Terri Stewart

Finding Sacred Space in Mandala

I love the idea of Mandalas. Mandala means sacred circle in Sanskrit. The idea of sacred circles permeates the spiritual underpinnings of many traditions. The circle of Native American tradition where a sacred circle is danced, not to be broken. The circles of trinity in Christian tradition. The Mandala of Hindi and Buddhist tradition. The circular labyrinth that dates back up to 25,000 years. Walking a circle, dancing a circle, drumming a circle, drawing a circle, even singing a circle … “make the circle wide, make it wider still” … creates a moment of sacred space meeting the co-creative spirit of human and transcendence.

That is beauty.

Lately, I have been thinking about mandalas more than normal because I am co-organizing a mandala workshop called, “Finding Your Spiritual Identity with heART: A Mandala Workshop.” Julia Weaver, a mandala practitioner, will be coming to town and doing two workshops for me- one with the girls in detention (how awesome is that?!) and one for the people of Seattle.  I love that she is being so flexible in offering her gifts and talents.

That is also beauty.

So today, to create our sacred space, I’d like to do a mandala meditation. I am using one of my own images and some meditation ideas that I have found at

Take a moment and center yourself. Imagine a circle of protection, love, compassion, and mercy surrounding you. Let your gaze rest softly on the computer screen. Rest your feet comfortably on the ground if possible. Simply become as comfortable in your own spot as you can become. As Julia says (and which I will quote in the video!),

“As you gaze at a mandala,
breathe slowly, and relax your eyes.
See with your heart and listen for guidance.
Gently open to your own luminous Divinity.”

Shalom and Amen,


(c) 2014, post, Terri Stewart


REV. TERRI STEWART is Into the Bardo’s  Sunday chaplain, senior content editor, and site co-administrator. She comes from an eclectic background and considers herself to be grounded in contemplation and justice. She is the Director and Founder of the Youth Chaplaincy Coalition that serves youth affected by the justice system. As a graduate of Seattle University’s School of Theology and Ministry, she earned her Master’s of Divinity and a Post-Master’s Certificate in Spiritual Direction. She is a contributing author to the Abingdon Worship Annual. (The 2014 issue just released!)

Her online presence is “Cloaked Monk.” This speaks to her grounding in contemplative arts and the need to live it out in the world. The cloak is the disguise of normalcy as she advocates for justice and peace. You can find her at ,, and  To reach her for conversation, send a note to


I am a monk disguised as a passionate prophet. My true loves are God, family, and the creative arts. And maybe just a little bit of politics too. (PS My photo is by Eric Lyons Photography).

4 thoughts on “Finding Sacred Space in Mandala

  1. In the days when I had to sit through meetings or classes, I loved to doodle Mandalas. They are a wonderful way to center and fun (can’t think of another word) to draw or paint.) Of course, when I was drawing them during classes I wasn’t exactly centerin,, was I!


    1. Mandalas can be so many things. I bet that mandala doodle let your energy sift into a place where you could be still for the purpose of the class. Maybe just another kind of centering.


  2. I’m enamoured of the idea of Mandala as well and what a lovely meditation …

    Happy Sunday and good luck with all your compassion projects. So appreciate your sense of social conscience.

    Warmest regards,


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