Founded in 1999, the Mandala Center is a multi-disciplinary education organization dedicated to community dialogue, social justice and societal transformation. Through experiential workshops, theatre performances, and other creative events, the Mandala Center invites people to be more awake and alive as well as empowered to take action toward a more just and joyous life for all people. The Mandala Center is also an international hub for the training and grassroots practice of Augusto Boal’s, Theatre of the Oppressed.
The Mandala Center
- Stimulates personal and societal transformation through experiential, kinesthetic (body-centered) education. People learn by doing.
- Encourages critical thinking through a popular education (student driven) approach and within an anti-oppression (systemic power) analysis.
- Facilitates honest, compassionate dialogue that allows for profound sharing and mutual learning.
- Empowers people to take action in their own lives as well as towards a more just and joyous world.
- Invites people towards a greater sense of consciousness and healing on both an individual and community level.
- Guides people through the process of finding and liberating their own inner wisdom.
- Addresses diverse and multi-cultural needs and approaches.
- Builds community by creating a safe container with a playful and celebratory atmosphere.
- Uses approaches which are gentle and supportive yet frequently fast and powerful.
Using a community based, popular education model, we provide a container where sustainable learning can happen. We believe that one’s deepest knowing exists within oneself. Trusting this, we guide people through the process of finding and liberating their own inner wisdom as well as sharing and learning from each other through compassionate dialogue. We are experts in the structures; people are the experts on their own lives.
In addition, we believe that in order for true change to happen in our increasingly complex world, we cannot separate the personal from the political — individual growth from social justice. We view the body, mind, spirit, and the planet as inextricably linked. One approach without the others is not sufficient. Inner work and outer work are both necessary.
With our strong focus on social justice, our work invites critial thinking and calls for the delicate balance of compassion and accountability. Anti-oppression theory — a power-based analysis of the “isms” — underlies everything we do, whether or not a particular program content addresses those issues directly. It is valuable to recognize how a person’s social group membership, wanted or not, affects how s/he experiences the world.
While we do not advocate any particular path towards consciousness and healing, we recognize that many different approaches are useful in addressing the needs of our diverse and “multi-cultural” world. Different people, different issues, even different moments call for different methods. With that in mind, we are continuously exploring new tools and techniques that help people go where they need to go. Our approaches are gentle and supportive yet frequently fast and powerful. They also are extremely playful and celebratory.
Our Tools Include
- Interactive Theater (Theatre of the Oppressed, Playback Theatre)
- Anti-oppression Education
- Movement / Dance