I mentioned to a friend that I had just attended a mandala workshop. He said : “I need some culture, I need yoghurt”. He’s hilarious and he also had no idea what a mandala was 😉
To me mandalas were these really beautiful geometric patterns that were drawn typically within a circle and colouring it can be used as a form of meditation.
A more “serious” definition of Mandalas is:
The word “mandala” is from the classical Indian language of Sanskrit. Loosely translated to mean “circle,” a mandala is far more than a simple shape. It represents wholeness, and can be seen as a model for the organizational structure of life itself–a cosmic diagram that reminds us of our relation to the infinite, the world that extends both beyond and within our bodies and minds.
Describing both material and non-material realities, the mandala appears in all aspects of life: the celestial circles we call earth, sun, and moon, as well as conceptual circles of friends, family, and community. (from the mandalaproject.org)
This past Sunday I spent a blissful 90 minutes doing something that I really liked – playing with colours! Using crayons too! Colouring a mandala (depending on it’s size and complexity) can take about an hour or more.
It was a workshop developed by Cheryl, one of the practitioners at the Violet Flame. There are 9 sessions in all and I signed up for them all as you know, I’m a sucker for signing up for workshops as I am to signing up for any cool looking blog site 😉
On a serious(er) note though, each session has been tailored to access different parts of ourselves. The first class was to access our Inner Child. Me being me, I completely forgot about that and just stated my intention (which was more of an adult issue of releasing my negativity and bringing in light). It didn’t stop it from being a relaxing and revealing session not only for myself but for the other 14 participants who were present as well – some of whom I have a sneaking suspicion didn’t keep to the Inner Child theme either. So yay me for not being the only one 😛
We started the session by taking a card each from the Fool’s Wisdom oracle deck. It was quite cool to see that all of us got cards that spoke to each of us. Mine was “ Do what feels right”. It was a pretty card too with a night sky full of stars and a bring crescent moon and the Fool sitting in a meditation pose with a candle, some books and a large crystal…made me think of the path that I have chosen for myself.
Then we were led through a very short-guided meditation, more of a centering and thinking of an intention before we started colouring. Once we had the intention, we were asked to look at the mandala pattern we had each chosen (we had to choose one out of the 5 different patterns) and sort of pass on that intention to the mandala, then….it was time to colour!!!
The only thing to remember about colouring the mandalas is that you should start from the centre and move out. Also, just go with your intuition. Whatever colour jumps out at you, pick it! Like Cheryl said “Don’t sweat the small details. Just colour without judgment and only when you are done, look at the whole mandala”
Also…if you feel like leaving certain parts blank..leave it! If you reach the outer most circle of the mandala and feel like drawing colourful squiggly lines outside that…go ahead!
As far as you are concerned you are Picasso!
As colouring mandalas is a form of meditation, just take note of whatever feelings or thoughts come to you. If you feel like crying, cry. If you feel light and happy; and want to jump around like a little monkey, go ahead! I just don’t recommend it while colouring the mandala. Instead take a few minutes and jump around before continuing with the colouring.For me and for some of the others, there were negative thoughts that flitted in but it sort of flitted out again. Oh..and don’t judge yourself on those negative thoughts okay?
I was being my “hilarious self” reprimanding myself for having negative thoughts…I was judging myself for being judgemental…ahem…enough said on that 😉
Once we were all done, we each shared what we felt or had run through our minds while interpreting the mandalas. We all learned a little more about ourselves from that session.
It’s strange. Different colours meant different things for different people. Same colours meant different things for the same person. Yellow for example is such a sunny bright colour but when seen in the completed mandala it could mean a lack of confidence or fear too!
There are lots of free mandala images that can be printed out for personal use. Why don’t you try it! At the very least you have some amount of me time AND have fun colouring!
Here’s the one I did:
You know when I said the same colour could mean something different for the same person? The black in the inner circle to me was calm. It reminded me of nothingness, of a space so vastly huge that I could just float in it for eternity, at peace. It was beautiful. The black on the outer circle on the other hand gave me a feeling of yucky negativity. It feels like its blocking me form exposing my true self but the spots of silver tells me that it’s dissipating.
Next Sunday’s session is “Awaken Your Inner Goddess”. My sister thinks hers will be sexy. I’m hoping it is, I’d love to see how a sexy mandala looks like 😉
- A Digital Twist On Ancient Mandalas, (fineartamerica.com)
- Summer Mandala (Trust) (susanbradfordart.com)
- Silence (12challengesfor2012.wordpress.com)