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Center for Action and Contemplation

The Cosmic Christ: Week 1 Summary and Mandala Practice

Saturday, October 29, 2016

The Cosmic Christ: Week 1

Summary: Sunday, October 23-Friday, October 28, 2016

Jesus is the union of human and divine in space and time, and the Christ is the eternal union of matter and Spirit from the beginning of time. (Sunday)

In the beginning was the Blueprint, and the Blueprint was with God, and the Blueprint was God. . . . And all things came to be through this inner plan. The inner reality of God was about to become manifest in the outer world as the Cosmic Christ. (Monday)

Outpouring Love is the inherent shape of the universe, and only when we love do we fully and truthfully exist in this universe and move toward our full purpose.  (Tuesday)

God will turn all of our crucifixions into resurrections. Look at it in Jesus, believe it in Jesus, admire it in Jesus, love it in Jesus, and let it take shape in your own soul. (Wednesday)

The Risen Christ is Jesus released from all space/time restrictions. He is beyond space; he is beyond time. He includes all of the spiritual and the physical world, reconciled within himself. (Thursday)

The Christ Mystery gives us significance and a sense of belonging as part of God’s Great Work. We are no longer alienated from God, others, or the universe. Everything belongs. (Friday)


Practice: Making a Mandala

Mandala, the Sanskrit word for circle, is a Hindu and Buddhist symbol for the universe. It represents the Whole of which we are a part. In Carl Jung’s words, a mandala is “a safe refuge of inner reconciliation and wholeness.” [1]

We might think of Christ as a mandala—a symbol of matter and spirit cohering in and beyond time. Christ is God manifest, both visible and invisible, darkness and light, bringing all things to greater life and love throughout eternity. Christ’s love is the very shape of the universe. Each of us is part of this pattern. Through our conscious participation, we can grow into the fullness of love.

I invite you to create your own mandala as a contemplative practice. Begin by gathering all the materials you’ll need (a large sheet of blank paper, extra paper, scissors, pencil, compass, coloring pencils, markers, paints, etc.). Find a quiet place where you won’t be disturbed for an hour or so.

Bring to heart and mind four areas in your life or the world for which you desire healing and wholing. Record them on a spare piece of paper using words, symbols, or colors.

Cut the large piece of paper into a square. Mark the center of the page with a small dot and use a compass to draw a circle a couple inches from the edge of the paper (if you don’t have a compass, trace a small plate or bowl). Within the circle, draw a square and divide it into four quadrants. In each section, draw an image or design that represents each of your desires.

Beginning at the corners of the square and, moving outward, create concentric circles with shapes or curving lines. Add color if you wish, slowly filling in the design.

When you have finished creating your mandala, consecrate the time, energy, and focus you’ve given to the healing and wholing of self and world. Spend some time simply gazing with non-judgmental eyes at the mandala and surrendering your desires and expectations.

Tibetan and Navajo rituals involve ceremonially destroying their intricate sand mandalas after completion. You might choose to intentionally burn, bury, or somehow let go of your mandala.

Gateway to Silence:
Christ has died. Christ is risen. Christ will come again.

[1] C. G. Jung, The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious, Collected Works of C. G. Jung, trans. R. F. C. Hull, 2nd ed. (New York: Routledge, 2014), 384.

Adapted from Richard Rohr, A Spring Within Us: Daily Meditations (CAC: 2016), 354.

For Further Study:
Richard Rohr, Christ, Cosmology & Consciousness: A Reframing of How We See (MP3 download)
Richard Rohr, The Cosmic Christ (CD, MP3 download) 

Image description: Whirlpool Galaxy: The crossed pattern within the nucleus of M51 indicating two dust rings around the black hole at the center of the nebula. Credit: NASA/ESA
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