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Saturday, December 17, 2011

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Sharon

I was told by a bishop that Hildegard of Bingen used the mandala as an aid to mystic prayer. Is that correct? I searched Google but only came up with New Age sites which referenced this.

David K. Monroe

Sharon,

I'm not a Hildegard scholar by any means, but I've been familiar with her life and works for several years and the only reason that I can imagine for the "mandala" claims is that some of Hildegard's drawings are kinda, sorta like mandalas. That is to say, they are circular.

In my opinion the idea that a 12th century German abbess who spent most of her youth as the assitant to an anchorite (which is to say that she was literally cut off from the outside world) actually practiced an authentic form of Eastern mysticism stretches credibility.

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