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Book Review: The Mandala of Being – Discovering the Power of Awareness by Richard Moss, M.D.

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Richard Moss’ The Mandala of Being: Discovering the Power of Awareness is highly personal. From its very first pages, it spoke directly to me, encouraging me to try his method of self-empowerment.

He spoke of the golden rule: treat others as I’d like treated. But so often I am not successful. Why? Moss’ answer is intriguing. Unless I perceive my inner being as wholesome, loved, and sufficient unto itself, I’m at a loss to encounter others in a positive, spontaneous and authentic way. When I hurt, I can hurt other people. (There is a message here for today's troubled world.)

Moss would have me find my innermost self, here and Now, by quiet self-reflection, beginning with concentrating on the regularity of my own breathing. I feel the air as it enters my nostrils and leaves, slightly warmed by its interaction with my lung tissue. If I point a finger outward, I become aware of what I see: a wall, a pet, a doorway, a book I’m reading. Then I curl that finger to point directly at myself to answer what/who I see.

It is my own clothed body. But at once, it is more than that, it is me. I reside within as a living conscious being. But I reach a point, almost sacred, beyond which I cannot reflect. Here, I have become aware of consciousness but incapable of understanding it. It simply is, and I am one with it – I exist, now. I am Now.

Acquainted with my innermost self, Moss would guide me with his mandala, or circle of being. With practice, it can help me see that I am the thinking center beneath the layers of fear, hope, love, jealousy, guilt, prejudice, sorrow, regret – a myriad of baggage that I carry with me when reacting to other people. Is it any wonder I don’t always understand them when I cannot see clearly, my own soul, my own consciousness?

The mandala is a large drawn circle with me at its focal point, concentrating on the stillness, the love, and the presence of my own me/Now. From this axis, I can step to different sections of the circle’s circumference to question negative stories and feelings from the past I rely on to berate my being. I question, but I always return to the mandala’s center to affirm myself. Reassured, I reach out around the circle touching others with new found dignity, compassion, and empathy.

The concepts in The Mandala of Being could be easily understood by the average reader. To read the book without the leisure and willingness to perform the activities Doctor Moss suggests is a waste of time. The pages of his book cannot tell any reader what her/his innermost being is. That conscious me/Now must be awakened by following Moss’ suggested soul-searching method, sometimes with book in hand.

I would recommend The Mandala of Being to anyone who experiences a gnawing emptiness or meaninglessness in their lives whether it be short-lived or a malaise lasting a long time. Its reflective methodology can provide insightful self-awareness and the courage to look forward to a unique future with trust and self confidence.

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About Regis Schilken