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A mandala is a map or diagram of a particular spiritual state. Each element in the design leads to the central point of Realisation.

Mandala Essences were conceived as providing clarity and context for those times in our lives when we feel we need spiritual help - when our motivation, goals, purpose and direction become unclear and when we start to question our long-held values and beliefs.

Each essence was made at a recognised sacred site in and around Kathmandu, Nepal. This Himalayan Kingdom has always been an important crossroads for trade and also for religious and philosphical ideas. Many of the places regarded as holy pilgrimage sites have remained in continuous use for thousands of years, establishing a continuity of human spiritual aspiration and practise from people of many cultures, religions and ways of life.

Each Mandala Essence encapsulates a particular quality of human experience and grounds it into the stable energy of the Earth through the plants and animals that have also absorbed the pervading energies of each place of power. The spiritual presence assimilated by trees, plants and animals help the rarefied energies to be more easily integrated and of practical use to us in our everyday lives. Trees are especially valuable in creating a vital balance between the mundane and spiritual realities of our existence as they have a natural, inbuilt tendency to restore and maintain equilibrium on many levels.


  • seeing clearly and then acting in a practical way.
  • penetrating discernment allows reality to feel completely secure.Feeling secure we are and able to act spontaneously with openness, honesty and compassion.
  • there is the ability to understand the consequence of our actions across time and space.
  • seeing the true nature of reality we are able to act effectively in all situations without doubts and be of maximum benefit to all around us.
Activation points for this essence - the knees
This essence may be of use when there is: diffused, unfocused energy; doubt; ineffectual action; lack of practicality; isolation

The Energy of this place:
The hills of Pharping on the south-west edge of the Kathmandu valley overlook an unchanging pattern of small fields and temples. Upon the wooded slopes are  many sacred sites. Two caves, especially, are associated with Padmasambhava, Guru Rinpoche, who is said to have achieved full Realisation here. Above the caves the hilltop is festooned with prayer flags strung from pine trees where crows live. The energy of this site was collected and held with the help of the pine trees.


  • joy and exuberance as a true link to the energy of Earth is made. An equally strong link is made to our personal core energy and sense of survival
  • the strength of life energy invigorating all actions in balance with Nature
  • enables one to be happy with physical incarnation
  • communication skills, relating honestly and powerfully with others
  • fully grounded and present
  • increased depth of perception that bridges all aspects of the physical and spiritual
Activation points for this essence - feet and base of spine
This essence may be of use when there is: feeling of weakness and fearfulness; lack of drive; fear of life; fear of physicality; poor social skills;

The Energy of this place:
Swayambhunath is situated on a small steep hill to the west of Kathmandu. It is considered to be one of the holiest and most powerful places in the Himalayas. In previous aeons it is said the Buddha Vipashyi meditated upon this hill when it was surrounded by a lake. Into the water he threw a lotus seed which grew to radiate pure rainbow light around the whole valley.
The energy signature of the site comes from the Buddha Families, monkey spirits, medicine trees and pipil trees.


  • ability to let go of the past, to change, to transform
  • pleasure in being part of nature, happy to follow one's own ideas
  • helps to repair the karmic imbalances of the past
  • helps to repair the karmic imbalances of the past
  • integrates past and future creating security and balance
  • a flow of balanced internal communication that allows us to discover where we need to be to fulfil our true wishes
  • false personality structures dissolve, old patterns are eased allowing a re-orientation of the Self in line with a more direct and honest personal path.
Activation points for this essence - xiphiod process, at the base of the sternum, and also just below navel
This essence may be of use when there is: a lack of flexibility, physically, emotionally or mentally; a need to break free of restricting habit patterns; alienation from one's energy and the world; stagnation and feelings of being trapped; apparent inability to break negative cycles of behaviour; inability to forgive self and others
The Energy of this place: Hidden halfway down a steep valley, Milarepa's cave, where he spent years of happy retreat,is still a beautiful location. Surrounded by rocks and trees, amid the continuous distant roar of the river and waterfalls, fresh breezes flow down from the snowy peaks visible at the head of the valley. The gentle energy of this site was collected by and held by flowering cherry trees growing on the precipitous cliffs outside the cavemouth.


  • creativity and its tangible expression, working with natural and cosmic law to mould a harmonious environment
  • awareness of the inter-relation and reciprocity of all things in creation
  • discovering valid, practical ways to remove obstacles
  • easy combination of passionate emotions to develop a creative, inventive and uniquely practical art of living
  • the ability to interact with our surroundings in a vital manner
  • depth of perception, to see the flow of interaction in all aspects of where one is.
Activation point for this essence - under the right side of the ribcage
This essence may be of use when there is: a failure to relate to practical circumstances; inability to allow change, denial of the past; lack of creativity and imagination, creative blocks suppression of ingenuity, lack of intuitive flow confusion of motive and outcomes
The Energy of this place: Yholmo is a region to the north-east of Kathmandu that has been settled by Tibetans for the last fifteen generations. It is recognised as having very special energies spiritually and physically. Consisting of only a few valleys that descend from the snow peaks bordering Tibet, Yholmo is a landscape moulded by the intelligent interaction of man with the environment.
At the heart of Yholmo are the many small temples and chörten, some of which are contained in this essence focussed by the powerful energy of a very large Himalayan Alder Tree


  • dynamic motivation that arises from the core of one's being infusing every aspect of life
  • breaks down false restrictions and limitations
  • manipulation of creative power to remove obstacles
  • everything is possible (the "impossible" becomes a real option)
  • synchronisation of personal power at all levels
  • broadening of imagination and perception
Activation point for this essence - the navel
This essence may be of use when there is: there seems to be no avenue to progress every route is blocked; everything is "impossible" powerless in front of the "inevitable" hopelessness, capitulation; feeling of insufficient strength, energy, courage to succeed
The Energy of this place: The high Himalayan forest on the upper slopes of Yholmo is a magical place with moss-covered trees hung with orchids in a landscape of waterfalls, pools and large cliff-like boulders. Guru Rinpoche, Padmasambhava, walked the hillside paths here and at several places pierced the earth and rock with his magical dagger to dissipate negativity or harmonise natural energy spots. This essence integrates the energy of the forest oaks with one such Phurba Chorten.


  • energising at every level, supporting the individual's life-force
  • allows the absorption of those qualities that are needed to become balanced
  • increases wisdom, calms emotions and integrates the self
  • protection from all types of disruptive or harmful energies
  • allows the vastness of creation and the immanence of the Divine to be felt as a personal support
  • access to the compassionate energy of all enlightened beings everywhere
This essence may be of use when there is: rigidity in belief; fixed ideas and dogmatic behaviour; feeling of being drained of energy; confusion of beliefs; vulnerability, of feeling un-nurtured
The Energy of this place: Boudhanath is one of the largest stupas in the world. Situated on the old road to Tibet to the east of Kathmandu, it has for many centuries been a major pilgrimage site for Tibetan Buddhists. It is said to contain the relics of Buddha from a previous age named Kashyapa, and that when finished a hundred million Buddhas dissolved their energy into it. The essence was gathered from a Himalayan cypress tree and a Sirmoo (Michelia risopa) growing nearby, that also integrated the energies from the stupa with two simultaneous festivals - Celtic Samhain and the festival of Buddha's descent from Tushita heaven (where he had guided his mother upon her death).


  • integration of information from different systems within the whole
  • understanding the energetic quality of the environment, the ecology, within which one exists
  • understanding how patterns are mirrored through the macrocosm and microcosm; internal and external
  • comprehending one's place in the ebb and flow of life, which in turn gives a new sense of freedom and perspective
Activation points for this essence - all around the Solar Plexus

This essence may be of use when there is: isolation, loneliness; stubbornness; lack of observation; feelings of separateness; inability to identify personal value or function in the world; inappropriate activity; not going with the flow

The Energy of this place: The complex interaction of life in the Himalayan forests held and transformed by an autumn-flowering pink orchid.


  • teaches us the source of our strengths, where our abundance arises, where our life-energy comes from
  • establishes a sense of physical solidity, stability, strength and security
  • allows the development of clearer perceptions of oneself and one's goals
  • this security gives protection from vicissitude and uncertainties
  • ability to withstand inappropriate and damaging pressures from outside oneself
  • finding the appropriate space (physically and otherwise) to stand up for oneself as an equal part of creation

Activation point for this essence - stomach area

This essence may be of use when there is: restlessness; confusion; endless seeking; uncertainty, doubt; fear of self-expression
The Energy of this place: A sheer rock-face with bizarre serpentine concretions, small caves and a spring issuing from its base surrounded by trees. Shesh Narayana is a site where powerful spiritual practitioners, male and female, came together to deepen their experiences. The energy of water and rock and the "nagas" - earth and water spirits controlling the fertility and abundance of the Earth, is clearly felt here


  • awareness of being surrounded by the contented richness of nature, which supports you where you are now
  • happiness within oneself that allows a relaxation and generosity of spirit
  • experience of peace allowing access and awareness of the means to develop personal power - especially those keys of ritual activity appropriate to your needs.
  • understanding the purpose and function of knowledge and ideas that arise inside you: practical magic
  • knowing what spiritual practices are most appropriate for you at any given time
Activation point for this essence - the sternal notch ( where the collar bones meet the breastbone)
This essence may be of use when there is: dislocation from surroundings; exhaustion, both mental and emotional, from responsibilities; frustration when searching for personal strengths and potential; fundamental change needed to be made to belief systems

The Energy of this place: A long, steep stone stairway between an avenue of eucalyptus trees to a small, flat clearing amongst pines and medicinal trees. A small pavilion is shaded by a great fig tree. Whitewashed walls of a gompa (temple) and chörten (stupa) built and decorated in gold and bright paintings by one man as an expression of faith and generosity.


  • understanding what it is to be human
  • relaxing and soothing the mind and emotions
  • expansion of the ability to share with others
  • room to breathe
  • healing on deep levels, purifying negativity from the self-image
Activation point for this essence - diaphragm area at the base of lungs

This essence may be of use when there is: a sense of claustrophobia, of being trapped; when everything is getting "too much" to cope with; when priorities have been forgotten; when we need space for recuperation and clear thinking

The Energy of this place: The village of Godavari is on the far edge of the Kathmandu valley in an area left largely unspoiled by development. Steep wooded hills rise up from the valley floor. Snow peaks can be seen on the distant horizon. From the base of the hillsides clear springs bubble up and become rushing streams meandering between mature oaks and alders. One spring is especially sacred to the Goddess in the form of Yeshé Tsogyal, Enlightened Female Buddha and consort of Padmasambhava. A small shrine with Buddhist and Hindu statues, offerings of vermilion sandal paste and flowers surround the clear pools where fish swim.


  • balancing moods with an increase in sense of warmth and comfort: relaxation at a physical and emotional level
  • perception of where one's personal path is leading; a sense of direction, guidance and faith in the future
  • ability to see levels of Truth and Reality that help clarify one's determination to succeed
Activation point for this essence - below left ribcage (pancreas)
This essence may be of use when there is: insecurity about the future; mood swings; lack of direction in life; unclear thinking; a need for insight

The Energy of this place: Tara is one of the most popular of Tantric Buddhist deities, embodying compassion and wisdom. Self-arising statues have no known human origin and are thought to manifest from the subtle realms of existence for the benefit of all beings. The shrine containing the small self-arising Tara is in a rockface that also displays multiple statues of Tara and a central image of Ganesh, remover of obstacles.


  • accepting and understanding the cycles of time and the inevitability of beginnings and endings
  • understanding the continuity of existence
  • ability to comfortably move between different states of consciousness and realities
  • perception of the boundary between different states of being
  • strengthening of personal life-energy and life- force to be able to let go of certainties and launch oneself into the unknown
  • courage to let go and start again
  • understanding that beliefs create reality and that beliefs, however strong, can be changed or abandoned where necessary
This essence may be of use when there is: fear of death; grief after bereavement; fear of the unknown; too rigid belief systems; inability in accepting other states of being

The Energy of this place: Pushpatinath is on the banks of the River Bagmati and is as sacred a site as the Ganges itself. It is the principal Tantric site for Hindu and Buddhist yogis who often make their homes here. Caves in the riverbank have been used for centuries as places of meditation. The site is sacred to Siva as lord of animals, and his consort Shakti. Temples and shrines cover the tree-clad hilltop, whilst on the riverbank the dead are cremated on special platforms overlooking the water.


  • clarity and unlimited breadth of perception
  • seeing things in a new light
  • an expansion of the feeling of connectedness
  • freedom, clarity, sense of direction and growth
  • a feeling of protection and the strength to balance polarities
This essence may be of use when there is: a sense of uncleanliness or sin; lack of freedom; guilt or other burdens from the past; polarised viewpoints, over-judgmental attitudes; a need for new answers, new perceptions

The Energy of this place: Despite modern expeditions to climb Himalayan summits, the mountain range is essentially out of the reach of the human world. They belong to themselves, though their snows sustain the vegetation of the fertile valleys. There is a sense of inviolability, of prisitne beauty and uncompromising reality. There are themselves alone, and yet amid the towering ice walls and glaciers can be found jewel-like turquoise lakes reflecting the depths of the sky; like blinking eyes communicating with the rest of the universe in endless silence.