On Being, Dying, and Kindness
The Mandorla Project supports the dialogue between spirituality and care for the dying. As a 501(c) nonprofit organization, we seek to explore compassionate ways we can be present with one another in death. To do so, we disseminate literature, stories, wisdom teachings, and resources to support professionals, caregivers, spiritual practitioners, and the dying—at all stages of life.
As part of that mission, we acknowledge the intelligence inherent in our spiritual, familial, communal, healing, and medical traditions. We believe it is important to honor our differences while embracing the essences we share when engaging with life changes. Death is an inevitable part of life, and it is also a necessary part of the spiritual path.
Our name harkens to the liminal space that occurs within the overlap of two circles or mandalas. Within this center oppositions or separations dissolve. It is most commonly seen as the almond-shaped symbol surrounding sacred figures. The two intersecting mandalas, with the mandorla, represents the journey of the soul, the ways we connect, and the role death can play in that process.
The Mandorla Project was founded in 2009 by Joe Fischer and Amita Lhamo (Connee Pike). We began with an intent to offer spiritual care to the dying without charging for our services. We followed an ancient dictum to care for the dying as a sacred act, inviting community to support the midwives offering this care rather than place this burden upon the dying and their families.
We also felt that we had much to learn about how to offer spiritual care to the dying, wishing to listen to both our wisdom traditions and the discoveries of modern medical professionals. So we expanded our intentions to include the dissemination of what we’ve discovered about a spiritual understanding in the face of death. We created Mandorla Publications as a means to do so, with plans to support a community of authors exploring the meaning of death in our lives and how we can greet it.
“Love will lead us to give what is ours to give.”