The Mandala of Being by Richard Moss, MD – Book Review

Book Review – The Mandala of Being, Discovering the Power of Awareness – By Richard Moss, MD

Recommend: Yes

Star Rating (1 through 5): 4

Genre: Metaphysical/New Age

Understanding the human condition

According to, the meaning of mandala is a symbol expressing a person’s striving for unity of the self. In Richard Moss’s book, Moss describes the malady of living our lives in a state of unawareness and that by finding unity in our own mandala of being, we can emerge transformed and renewed. The mandala in this case is described as a circle, where the center point is the beginning and the end of conditioned thought, the Now, and thoughts coming into or out of the center represents conditioned thought.

Outside of the Now (the center of the mandala), Moss points out that all other thoughts fall into four categories, Me, You, Past & Future. When our thoughts are in any of these four categories, we are bound to suffer because these thoughts do not contain the essence of our true being, which can only be experienced in the Now.

The Mandala of Being is advocating an Eastern philosophical ideal of non-duality or the enlightenment of the self by the extinction of the self (the extinction of the idea of “me” or “I”.) Now this may seem an extreme and frightening description, but really there is some element of re-birth, renewal, and release of human ego in all major traditions, both East and West. Moss equates the concept of nonduality as the center point in his symbolic mandala and even calls this state the “beginning of ourselves.”

Using the circle as a symbolic representation of thought process is a powerful way to help us visualize the “Now” as a grounding center point that we can always come back to for authentic being. Further, visualizing our thoughts coming out of or into the absolute moment of presence (Now), helps us to become aware of the years of conditioned thoughts we develop that are outside of the essence of our true being.

What to expect

The Mandala of Being is a comprehensive analysis of the thoughts that we think and how they impact us. The book’s intention is to provide a methodology for bring awareness to these thoughts and accepting them into a more graceful and healing space, which is defined as the Now. The ultimate goal of doing this work is to come to a place in your life where suffering, judgments and other non-serving thoughts can be viewed under the lens of awareness to see their illusive nature and by doing so, create a more authentic and meaningful life. Additionally, the Mandala of Being uses the mandala concept to help us find acceptance of the self.

Dr. Moss has presented in this book some inspiring and thought provoking ideas to consider. As I have mentioned in other book reviews, one way that I gage the quality of the books content is by the number of marker tabs I have on that pages that mark specific passages that are meaningful or important to consider. In this book, I had a lot of markers! There is certainly no lack of content regarding the specific message of the tendencies of the mind to go outside of the present moment to conceptualize our daily living as well as content related to the benefits of being in the Now moment.

There are many powerful ideas to consider in this book and I believe that for the serious seekers of enlightenment and awareness, you will find this book to be one of your favorites. Regardless of any downsides I found in the book, I know I will be returning to my marked pages many times to gain inspiration or to review my feelings about this subject.

Where the book missed for me

This may or not be a fair analysis, but based on my reading experience, I find that books on spirituality, enlightenment or other non-scientific methods related to the human condition that are written by medical professionals are extremely dense in their content and tend to be repetitive. I don’t know whether these authors feels that unless stated multiple times in many ways the reader won’t get their point, or because of their academic backgrounds they feel that overstating a case is more compelling, but as a reader, it becomes tiresome.

I felt this book could have been written just as effectively about 100 pages lighter. Although I thought the content was generally well presented, there was no doubt that many of the concepts were repeated over and over in a slightly different context.

Although I do not agree with all of the ideas that Moss points out, I won’t hold that against him as a reviewer, but what I did find weird about the book is that even though the main theme is to provide a tool for seekers to live a more authentic and enlightened life, for me, the book was not be very uplifting. Perhaps it was because of the overstated opinions of the pervasiveness of our thoughts outside of the “Now” causing suffering. I couldn’t quite put my finger on it, but at the end of the book I didn’t feel better about things or highly motivated to jump in to begin this process.


Overall I would recommend this book but only for those that have already explored the ideas about “presence”, “Now”, and “awareness.” I do not feel this is a good book for beginning seekers. There are some compelling statements in this book that will give the more advanced student of enlightenment some serious food for thought. I will be referring to some of the ideas frequently even though my own methods for enlightenment and approach to spiritual wholeness are quite different than Dr. Moss’s.

Of course this is what I love about this subject, that there are infinite approaches and infinite possibilities to find our own individual paths. The Mandala of Being is a good book for adding to your arsenal of possibilities. It is a great book to deeply ponder some compelling ideas about the nature of human suffering and provides a unique approach to develop a sense of awareness about these thoughts and feelings.

Joleen Halloran is the owner of ZoomIT Marketing, a social media and internet marketing coaching and training company. Additionally, Joleen has extensive business experience in project management, leadership, and specializes in motivational techniques and corporate culture.

Beyond Joleen’s professional life, she is an avid reader and researcher of books and other materials related to her profession, but also to her special passion, which is metaphysical and spirituality topics. Ms. Halloran has read over 100 books on metaphysical, spirituality, Western and Eastern religion, and law of attraction. Joleen is currently working on her own book, Finding Home – Breaking Free from Limits, which she hopes to have completed by the end of the summer.

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