Garian's Mandala (part 4)


There are seven smaller circles associated with this circle and each smaller circle lies just inside the outer boundary of the practice circle. The smaller circles are equally placed around the practice circle to correspond with the four corners of Garian's pyramid and three of its midpoints. The empty place where one more circle could (but does not) go corresponds to the midpoint where Garian's pyramid has its open doorway to the Territory. These seven circles are an indigenous part of the landscape of the gap between the Garian practice consciousness circle and the final empty circle at the heart of the whole mandala. Now in the first gap encountered earlier there were a great number of smaller circles and many more personal choices as to which part of the Territory landscape would be used. In this second gap the possible choices are already in place. There is still freedom of choice, but there are just seven choices to be made and they are specific.

These seven circles are actually seats. Because they are circles they are an expression of consciousness. Because they are seats it is possible to sit there for some specific purpose. Using the mandala language of circles and squares we can read this part of the mandala to say: While actualizing Garian's practice in one of seven specific conscious ways, it is possible to cross the gap and enter the empty circle at the centre of the Mandala.

There are a few important points to consider at this point. First it should be noted that each of these seats corresponds to one of Garian's seven chakras. Going clockwise from the first seat (top right) they would correspond to the root, the hara, the will, the heart, the throat, the third eye and the crown. Secondly that the seven chakras in the second gap are actively different than the seven chakras encountered in the first gap. In the first gap they were exterior presentations of the chakras (you could get inside them). In the second gap these chakras are interior opportunities (they can get inside you). It might also be said that the seven chakra places in the first gap are opportunities to be intimate and interact with your own chakras, while the seven chakra seats in the second gap are opportunities to be intimate and interact with Garian's chakras. Some questions to ponder as well...Can one single practitioner occupy one single seat or is it necessary for all seven seats to be occupied by seven different practitioners? And what do you do when you take your seat?

Well the first question's not that easy to answer right now, but the second can be approached. One of the levels of Garian's practice is a visualization. While sitting on one of the seats, a practitioner visualizes each of Garian's seven chakras in their three dimensionally empty form. Garian is visualized as if sitting at the centre of the pyramid and his chakras are located along the line that connects the centre of the Mandala to the apex of the pyramid. The practice is to visualize (and be visualized by) Garian, letting the empty form of his seven chakras manifest in the centre of the pyramid while also letting the same chakra forms manifest inside the self. In other words the same empty energy forms that manifest at the centre of the pyramid also manifest correspondingly inside the practitioner's own energy body.

So what do these empty chakra forms look like? It's hard to say without actually doing the practice, to actively visualize the empty forms. But here's one way to approach the practice:

Garian's second chakra - the hara - can be seen in form as a flat, circular plane. It's actually an infinite plane in the same way the original circle of the Mandala is infinite, yet this original consciousness circle takes on a relative size with respect to the other squares and circle contained within it. Perhaps Garian's hara is more like a sphere and the visualized flat circular plane is just a cross section. Perhaps there are other higher dimensional shapes involved and various appropriate cross sections (and this would be true of the other six chakras as well). In any case, when this hara disk is dropped down onto the centre circle of the Mandala in two dimensions it exactly matches the flat circular shape of the centre hole in the Mandala.

This dropping down of three dimensional cross sections onto a two dimensional map may seem tricky at times, but hang in there. The whole event of this somewhat limited description will give us an arresting insight into the hole at the centre of the Mandala.

So, continuing on with Garian's other six chakras... Garian's third chakra - the will - can be seen three dimensionally as a pyramid with a four sided square base. The pyramid has four levels (or cross-sections) delineated as part of its basic form. The base square, the square cross-section of the level where the entrance to the pyramid is located, the square cross-section of the level where an important chamber is located inside the pyramid, and finally the square cross-section of the level where the pyramid capstone is separated and floats above. When this will pyramid is dropped down onto the centre circle of the Mandala in two dimensions (and the four levels delineated) it makes the will pattern inside the circle.

Garian's fourth chakra - the heart - can be seen as a bowl. Sound can be heard moving around and throughout the bowl much in the way a singing bowl is experienced. When this heart bowl is dropped down onto the centre circle of the Mandala in two dimensions it makes the heart pattern inside the circle.

Garian's fifth chakra - the throat - can be seen as a funnel shape which is continually pouring. This is a little hard to describe in words, but generally speaking there is a circular opening at the top of the form and a smaller circular opening at the bottom. The pouring occurs at the top of the form (the soft green form hanging in the grove of the installation is a gesture to this form). When the throat funnel is dropped down onto the centre circle of the Mandala in two dimensions (and the two circular openings delineated) it makes the throat pattern inside the circle.

Garian's sixth chakra - the third eye - can be seen as a solid cube with rays of energy shooting out from the six sides and a sphere of energy surrounding the cube. When this third eye energy crystal is dropped down onto the centre circle of the Mandala in two dimensions (and the four sideways rays and the sphere are delineated) it makes the third eye pattern inside the circle.

Garian's seventh chakra - the crown - can be seen as a circular coronet or tiara with seven small circular holders affixed to the inside edge of the circular band. When this crown coronet is dropped down onto the centre circle of the Mandala in two dimensions (and the band and the seven circular holders are delineated) it makes the crown pattern inside the circle.

Garian's first chakra - the root - can be seen as a rope of energy coming straight down from the tip of the pyramid to the centre of the base. There it passes out of the dimensionally seeable world and re-emerges as seven smaller energy ropes coming back up again. These smaller energy ropes are arranged around the thicker central rope spatially in much the same way as the seven seats inside Garian's practice square. If seen from the side (and visualizing the shape to extend into the dimensionally unseeable realm and back again) this chakra shape would look a bit like a seven pronged energy hook. When this root energy rope is dropped down onto the centre circle of the Mandala in two dimensions (and the bigger downward rope and the seven smaller upward ropes are delineated) it makes the root pattern inside the circle.

Something is really happening in this empty central circle all right. It can't be seen in the world of form at all (and hence Garian's visualization practice is necessary), but if you look on the empty side you will see a whole inner mandala informs this seemingly empty hole at the center of Garian's Mandala. This inner mandala at the centre of Garian's pyramid is exactly the whole Mandala itself! If you studied it you would see all the geometrics of Garian's Mandala we have been describing as we journey inwards from the everyday world, starting with the first original circle of conscious (generated by Garian's hara), proceeding inwardly to the everyday world square (generated by the base of Garian's will chakra), to the first shift of consciousness circle (generated by Garian's heart chakra), to the Territory square (generated by the another level of Garian's will chakra), etc, etc and etc.




Bodhi svaha!



Really somewhere to go here - we can go everywhere! Very, very empty and therefor very very full of form. Whatever this consciousness shift is - moving from the circle inscribed inside Garian's practice square to the final floating Mandala circle at the centre of the Mandala - however the conscious shift is done, it gives us complete access to the original consciousness circle we could previously only visit unconsciously. Garian's practice is obviously key, and also a certain sort of consciousness while doing the practice. The specifics of the practice is best described elsewhere (actually practiced really rather than explained), But the point here is that the Mandala helps us find a state of consciousness that allows us to be located on or within any of the circles or squares of existence, no matter where we are at any one time. In other words we are always inside the empty centre mandala hole no matter where else we also are in the surrounding interconnections of squares and circles of the whole Mandala. Or as Hakuin Ekaku Zenji says in his Chant In Praise Of Zazen:


Our form now being no-form,
in going and coming we never leave home
Our thought now being no-thought,
our dancing and songs are the voice of the dharma.
How vast is the heaven of boundless samadhi!
How bright and transparent the moonlight of wisdom!
What is there outside us,
what is there we lack?
Nirvana is openly shown to our eyes.
This earth where we stand is the Pure Lotus Land,
and this very body, the body of buddha.

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