I have a new favorite “new media” art form: the fractal animation. This is a form of algorithmic art that is created through a computer program that calculates fractal objects and weaves them into seamless animations, often accompanied by music.
What do fractal animations have to do with meditation? Many of them appear to be mandalas in motion, a kind of visual mantra that moves.
The word “mandala” means “circle;” Buddhist monks have a long established practice of creating the most beautiful mandalas out of colored sand…
…and then immediately wiping it away. It’s a way of celebrating the joy of artistic beauty and the reality of impermanence at the same time. Just as a spoken mantra provides the meditating mind with a repeated sound on which to focus, a mandala supplies a visual point of reference. Fractal animations bring that visual referent to life.
My current favorite is called The Infinite in Between by Void Visuals. A short version of the animation can be viewed here:
It’s quite beautiful, and the electronic music that accompanies it is haunting and lovely. When I meditate using this multimedia mantra, I experience a level of mental comfort, a deep serenity, that cannot be explained in words. Add low lighting, herbal tea and some deep breathing to the mix, and you’ve got the makings of a genuinely transcendental experience!
If you prefer to simply gaze at a beautiful static mandala while meditating, take a look at www.mandalaproject.org. I discovered this splendid web page soon after I discovered mandalas themselves, and I recommend it highly. It receives original mandalas from artists around the world and makes them available to all.
Whether you go with a fractal animation, a spoken mantra, a mandala or just conscious breathing to anchor your meditation, you’re after the same effect: to quiet the logical mind and to free the intuitive mind. Have a beautiful meditation!