SOAS University of London

Centre of Yoga Studies

Gudrun Buhnemann

Gudrun Buhnemann

Date: 4 October 2021Time: 7:00 PM

Finishes: 4 October 2021Time: 8:15 PM

Venue: Virtual Event Room: Online

Type of Event: Talk

This event was not recorded, but you can find recordings of most of our events on our YouTube channel.

Maṇḍalas as Objects of Meditation

In recent decades Buddhist maṇḍalas have become increasingly popular. The creation of the Kālacakra (‘Wheel of Time’) maṇḍala from coloured grains of sand by Tibetan monks can be seen in museums and galleries around the world. Maṇḍala colouring books are on display in many bookstores. Mainly used in tantric initiation rituals in the past as surfaces whereon to invoke divinities, maṇḍalas have more recently been described as “aids” or “tools to meditation” and designated as “meditation diagrams” and “meditational art”. In this talk, I will provide an overview of the contemporary use of maṇḍalas as aids to and objects of meditation, contrasting this usage with traditional functions of maṇḍalas in Buddhist tantric ritual.

Gudrun Bühnemann is a Professor in the Department of Asian Languages and Cultures at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA. She has published extensively on South Asian iconography and ritual. More information can be found on her website: