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The Primordial Mandalas of East and West: Jungian and Tibetan Buddhist Approaches to Healing and Transformation | Davis | NeuroQuantology


DOI: 10.14704/nq.2016.14.2.940

The Primordial Mandalas of East and West: Jungian and Tibetan Buddhist Approaches to Healing and Transformation

Judson Davis

Abstract


A comparative analysis of Jungian depth psychology and Tibetan Buddhist Tantra reveals a fascinating array of similarities, which are united in their most essential form through the manner in which mythic imagery is employed in both disciplines as a powerful agent of inner transformation. Various forms of creative engagement with sacred symbols–including mandalas–are enacted in each tradition as a vehicle through which latent spiritual potentialities can be brought forth into consciousness, a process that is greatly enhanced through a number of dynamic artistic techniques and contemplative practices. It should be emphasized from the outset that both disciplines represent complex systems that include sometimes widely varying notions of a higher spiritual order or ultimate reality. However, despite any differences in ontological postulations or metaphysical precepts, they share a number of surprising and sometimes striking characteristics. For example, both emphasize the mind, or psyche, as the foundational basis of existence and the primary means through which liberation (in the tantric tradition) and psychic wholeness (as in Jungian psychology) are pursued. Each also emphasizes the realm of dreams (e.g., dream analysis in depth psychology and dream yoga in Tibetan Tantra), contemplative and creative visualizations (such as the focus on wisdom figures and sacred symbols), and an assortment of other practices that are designed to effect a reconciliation of opposites and the attendant union of masculine and feminine principles. Their respective methodologies thus represent essential avenues through which to deepen an understanding of human nature’s far-reaching spiritual potentialities while demonstrating the vital role that mythic imagery–and in particular the mandala–plays in the process of healing and inner transformation.

Keywords


mandala; Jung; depth psychology; Tibetan Buddhist Tantra; healing; spiritual transformation

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Supporting Agencies

The authors declare that the research was conducted in the absence of any commercial or financial relationships that could be construed as a potential conflict of interest.

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