The art of the Mandala

Starts 18 Jan 2024

Mandala of mandalas

Absorption, synthesis and creativity

Join us for five days at Sudarshanaloka (Land of beautiful vision) for a retreat that will include a focus on creativity through imagination, meditation and ritual. Our theme will be the Mandala, an ancient form of spiritual art which explains relationships and connections through the use of two- or three-dimensional imagery. What these images attempt to describe could range from the elemental connections of one’s psycho-spiritual being, to the relationship between an object (perhaps a Buddha) and the Universe.

After meditation and breakfast, there will be a short talk each morning followed by an opportunity to discuss, design and create a mandala (or mandalas) which express meaning for you in that moment. These are likely to be two-dimensional paper-based designs, but there will also be the freedom to create three-dimensional mandalas should you be so inspired. After lunch there will be unstructured time where you can continue with your mandala creations indoors or go out to explore the amazing patterns and mandalas ever present in nature on the land.

As Kamalashila, a senior UK Order member, recently put it,

“...Mandala is a way of talking about the living dynamic energy of everything. It is a powerful truth that will affect you if you meditate on it and see things more in that way.”

So, we’re not just painting pictures here, we’re somehow creating meaningful structures that point to our sense of reality, how we relate to ourselves and the world, and how we relate to devotion and the spiritual realms in general.

The ritual each evening will be in the form of a puja for each of the archetypal buddhas of the “jina mandala”.

Whether you are an experienced artist or a complete newcomer to this form of creativity, we hope to facilitate your finding a way into your own mandala and perhaps creating a sense of a collective mandala.

Note – while we will provide some art materials we encourage you to bring your own as well.


Start: 18 Jan 2024 at 7:00pm
Finish: 23 Jan 2024 at 11:30am

Cost: $425 waged/$385 low or unwaged, Please don't let money be a barrier - contact us for options, Youth Special: $300 for those under 35 who are willing to camp (you'll need to bring your own camping gear)

Led by

Photo of Maitrikirti


Maitrikirti lives in Thames and was ordained into the Triratna Buddhist Order in 2019. She helps out with management of the Sudarshanaloka Retreat…

Photo of Sthiraratna


Sthiraratna ('steer-a-rat-na') is the Auckland Buddhist Centre Manager and has been involved in the Triratna movement since around 2010, in both the…

Book a place
Bookings for this event are handled by the Auckland Buddhist Centre

Join the community

Keep up to date with our newsletter