Yellow Tara Mandala

Yellow Tara Mandala – A week long practice, created and led by Jill Purce where around 70 people become a living, rotating Mandala… (This is a piano duet – meaning 2 pianos…)

00:00 – I go along as my usual self and on the train to the venue – I wonder if I’ll be able to “get into it.” As soon as I’m there though, there’s an itness about the place that suspends rational thought without me having to try. I love these people because as different as we all are in occupation, beliefs and personality – we all find some purpose in conspiring to realise this unusual project.

00:34 – “Thank you for your love, Oh, thank you for your love, Oh, thank you for your love, Oh, thank you for your love…” – My body seems to be tuning into this different mode of seeing – which feels familiar – and I take it to be our natural, childlike gratitude for life… repeated over and over again…

00:51 – Scottishness… (We’re positioned in a pattern in which all of us simultaneously represent ourselves and the ancestors of the others…)*

01:09 – When you’re in the centre of the Mandala’s four circles – people crowd around, taking you in their arms and jostle you from side to side, up and down – until there’s no way to retain a sense of your physical orientation and you have nothing except the crowd to lean on.

1:13 – This feels very much like an ego death… Your sense of self starts to feel like it’s just the light refracting on the wave of the collective…

1:18 – Repeat

1:26 – Now with time successfully stopped, you rotate within the circles as though you’re the hands of a clock, expressing honestly piece by piece, where you’ve fallen short in life, where you hope to go, and sequentially letting go of worries and desires equally. The design of the process, which is believed in Buddhism to be like the individual’s journey after death – means every person is at some point seen and heard by every other in the group… [Until finally, they stand alone before God… (If this was in the music, it’d be represented by complete silence).]

1:59 – The baton of the Mandala’s focus is passed from one person to another, as it is in reality, and as the week progresses and you find yourself more invested in other people’s concerns than your own – we discover together that the individual is an illusion and instead we’re all just a finite set of experiences, being expressed differently through separate minds.

2:18 – Fade out is Thank You For Your Love… (because after the week, that’s become a setting I can now willfully switch to – which seems like an incremental next-level to the one I’d reached with meditation…)**

*The way this appears to work out, with the right people miraculously representing those in your real life, is extremely interesting. My rational brain says it’s some strange web of interweaving coincidence but I record these coincidences because this whole practice could instead be a material net for the subtle world…

**Nothing achieved through Meditation or Art seems like a mental process, rather these are the natural consequences of a person entering a physical set of ancient practices. Faith doesn’t even have anything to do with it – it seems that only focus and application is necessary.

–Each differently coloured Buddhist Tara embodies a different component of Enlightenment… And this Mandala practice is an enormous offering to the deity, Yellow Tara whose gifts include prosperity and abundance. Like all great Art, it’s intellectually, spiritually and aesthetically beautiful. If you were watching from the sidelines you’d see all of us, clothed in the colours of the circle we’re moving through, gradually change to being clothed in white after passing through the centre, until that’s the colour of the whole structure…