In the past, oral transmissions may have enough to pass on the teachings of a lineage. This helped protect the teachings, but it also meant that when indigenous people fell to disease, invasion, or other changes that destroyed the culture, the teachings could be lost. If there was advance notice, skilled practitioners knew how to “store” the teachings in the land; however, we have a mainstream culture now that is more left brained than when many of past streams of wisdom were active, so it is a good thing that we have the written word to help us keep track of the parameters of teachings. In this way a strong, energetic container is kept and what “works” about a ceremony or ritual is kept intact enough to keep its power to serve the beings it is intended for, the trained dancers and their significant others who attend, as well as “all our relations”.
The mandala is an energetic container, like the medicine wheel, like the sundance wheel, that “contains” whatever happens within the circle. The principle of the Mandala is wholeness, which belongs to all cultures, beings and paths and many have discovered its inherent form and principles. The Mandala Dance is an opportunity to step into an energy field where change and transformation is supported. As light beings in bodies we get a chance to participate within an architectural form of light with helping (light) beings that support our vibrations. This necessarily and almost effortlessly clears blockages to movement and change in ourselves if we surrender to the process.
The support comes from the 12 + 1 directions, with centre as the thirteenth direction. This is sacred geometry of manifestation and wholeness. It amplifies what any circle can create for dynamic energy 3 times 4 times the power of 1 that raises the whole 12 another notch. In this way we move upward on the spiral, starting wherever we are at when we come in, and leaving with expanded aptitude to contain light in our energy systems.
The people that put on the dance form an energetic triad of intention and action beforehand, a basic building block, so that if one side gets weak or tired or forgets, the other two hold. (Geodesic domes are built the same way, with triangles.) We do exercises in triads during the Moving Mandala training itself, for this purpose so that we will remember this when putting on the dance.
The Mandala Dance is chosen for added dynamic energy in a specific site, on a specific date (season), and our energy centres (chakras) resonate within that huge “machine” of spiritual technology that alchemizes our systems during the dance.
The dance is created as we embody spirit, and it keeps moving because movement, sound, light, colour are expressions of consciousness and life, and stopping the movement is holding back the momentum and change. Most of us unconsciously stop life from coming into our systems every day, as we habitually ask for healing but then it seems too frightening or too much not under our control, so the tendency is toward stagnation, keeping things the way we feel the most comfortable, even if the comfort costs us our health and happiness.
The drummers feed the dancers; if they forget to follow the dance and get distracted, the dancers will not be filled with moving energy but the energy will “pool” around whatever ties us to the old patterns or familiarity. This often feels GOOD because we like the familiar, but it is not why we dance. It is like a sweat, we don’t expect comfort, and although Mandala Dance can have celebration, if it is too choreographed or too overly planned or we repeat too much of what we have already done, people will stop dancing and start to “sing the chorus. ” Then they are not moving, not being in the moment, and unconscious resistance to movement may set in .After all, when we invite the public most people are NOT dancing every day so it is “easier” NOT to dance than to move. What we actually want is for them to get caught up in the movement and colour and light and forget themselves and to communicate without words. That’s when healing can happen in the way it does in the MD specifically, because it is like the chaos of potential in the cauldron and about the beauty of surprise that gets past the mind’s defences.
The same applies to the sounds we make: they come from the spirit realm in the moment, and if we allow them to soar and create new patterns, we may even find ourselves joined together in amazing harmonies, but if we repeat the same songs we are familiar with during the dance, we will stop the creative, moving spirit that comes from the womb of mother earth and our hearts, to allow it to change our minds and reach into the unfamiliar, the unknown.
Tradition and roots are very important. Roots of the mandala are in the cultures that have practiced mandala awareness since time began: it is a cosmic blueprint that joins heaven and earth and we are co-creating a contemporary form of it for our times for people who might not have been exposed to it before. Every tradition had an inspiration and a beginning spark; if it had value it became a tradition. The Moving Mandala with roots in the past is an evolving “tradition” growing out of ancient and universal cosmic laws that found their way to earth eons ago and asking that our tradition BE change. We talk about “be the change”; well, this give us a chance to practice in a safe container.
When we call in the directions, we call the centre as the great world tree, because the mandala roots go deep and because in the Moving Mandala we have lovingly adopted this tree to join all of us energetically, and to ground the cosmic blueprint of the Moving Mandala on the earth.
The earth has her own light and consciousness; after all she was there for the moment of creation, which helps humans balance both heaven and earth.
The Mandala Dance can re-charge a community that does not all live in the same spot where people can naturally get re-charged at a sustainable level every day in order to be in touch with the soul. The dance is meant to be about surrender and being in the moment rather than a lot of planning of the choreography or songs because that is when it is most healing; when we move past our preconceptions, we get into our deepest awareness. The mandala space is very primordial, female, wise and leaves room for change; the male principle of skill is in holding the compassionate container by the trained dancers, so that others can benefit.
Why use something that is “preconceived” as a tool for moving past preconceptions? Because most of us are not ready for the vast space that is unconfined, we are in form, and the form changes because our creative movements and sounds emerge FROM the space WITHIN the container, in order to bring our “creations” to form. Our light bodies are expanded and our inner wholeness resonates with the template of wholeness, within the mandala circle. It is alignment of body and soul.
The dance itself is created at soul level, that is the 8th chakra (a foot above our heads); that is why you see people shapeshift into the soul or essence of bear, angel, Kuan Yin, fire, love, mercy, Mother, Joker, faery, Warrior, because those archetypes in-form our dance and our voices.
We have a collective experience of shifting energy, which is what fascinates me the most about this practice as a shamanic one; it puts us in touch with primal energy in a safe container and merges us with it so that huge “leaps” of consciousness, healing, and transcendence can occur.
The introductory talking circle, the intentions set, the songs sung before and after to bond people, the prayers spoken, the thanks given, all of those things can be done as preparation and as grounding in a familiar or unique way: the food and social time further get us together to share and get ready to go back home and to integrate what we have experienced. There is lots of scope for the preparation and the landing, and that is a lot of responsibility, so I thank those that have done that, who have formed the intention to hold the dance and have worked on making it happen.
The Mandala dance, like the sand mandalas IS an offering and is dissolved at the end so that we don’t become attached to the dance itself “being the same way next time.” It is impermanent within the form, but its energy is never wasted. It is not an intellectual exercise but the structure allows for creative/spirit freedom inside the protected circle.
May we all continue to be blessed by our willingness and openness to change, and to give thanks to spirit for providing the tools we need to support the expanding light of consciousness and our realignment with the earth at this time,