The Mandala Story

Mandala
Mandala (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This is a story about a mandala, creating, detachment and what I believe to be Divine intervention πŸ™‚

Today, 30th of July 2013, I had decided to colour a mandala that I had drawn. Colouring mandala at times can get my inner voices going though there are times when it’s totally silent; and times when I’m off to different lands or planes…which I really enjoy. This morning was no different.

Drawing the mandala was pretty easy but as I started to colour, it seemed a little complicated. I went ahead and slowly its form took form in my mind. Half way through, I heard a voice. It said “Once you are done, will you destroy it?” I went, “What?!”.

“Why are you afraid to give this to God? Burn it and offer it up to Him and show no one your piece. No one gives you their approval. Just you, and God”

“But…oh…” A visual of Tibetan monks doing beautiful sand art and then destroying them just so they can start anew. A lesson in the impermanence of everything and to enjoy the process, not to obsess over the end result.

“So?”

My heart and solar plexus feel like they are being slowly (but surely) squeezed. “Actually..you know what…I should! I will! I can! I also need a ciggie, my head feels like it might explode”

Puffing on my ciggie it suddenly dawned on me. In the Old Testament, Abraham had to sacrifice his only son to God, and here I am having felt shock , sadness and confusion because I had to part with what? An art piece? A mandala being coloured? How much more would a father have felt for his flesh and blood? His only son!

“But the mandala is my baby too! I created it. I am creating it. It carries my energies. It may not be a child, but in a way it is. Wow!”

This followed by “Now the test is, how do I continue colouring it. Do I do a good job at it or do I colour it for the sake of colouring it because I am going to burn it” That was when I decided that I *would* do a good job at it. I would colour it as best I could. I would value it….and I would burn it when I was done.

So armed with that determination, I marched off to have lunch and sat watching a good part of Catwoman on HBO (procrastination ? or was it something else?). Coming into my room, decided to have a post lunch ciggie before I got down to the other half of the mandala. My sister was in the bathroom having her ciggie as well and yes we have our ciggies in the attached bathroom and yes we have most of our deep, mind bending conversations in there during our ciggie breaks; and yes it may be weird but it’s really not and the bathroom’s clean! Promise!

Puffing away she asks me what I was busy doing, so I told her what I was doing (and at the same time being cautious not to tell her of “the plan”). “Yea, I took a peek at it. It looks..uhmm…erm…what’s that word…artsy”. That was when I kinda spilled the beans. Her first reaction was, “Ah! detachment”.

“Yes!”

“Let me ask you, do you think God would ask you to destroy anything beautiful?”

“Huh?”

See…the thing about Abraham’s story was that Isaac did not get sacrificed. The fact that he was preparing to do so was enough, and that’s the part I forgot…or which didn’t enter my mind. I don’t know if it would have when I was done with the colouring and about to burn it. I don’t know if it wasn’t procrastination but instead just good timing that created the conversation I had with the old owl (my sister..hehe). I just know that I realized some things.

1. Always question. Discernment is the process of questioning and then going with what feels right. It’s also good to remember that Light and Love do not need to you destroy…well, not all the time. It’s just good to question though, and that’s something I am learning too.

2. Our tests do come in various ways. The theme is the same. The lesson is the same, but the way it manifests is different. For me, it was through the mandala that I had so much of pride in. I really did like the way it turned out and was liking the way it was turning out. It will be something that is close to you but it’s degree may be different. I don’t know what would have happened if I decided against burning the mandala initially. Maybe I would have had to face the same lesson of detachment in a harder form? Maybe I still need to learn it better?

3. It’s sometimes not in the doing, it’s in the decisions that we make from our hearts. Because I had decided to not only burn the completed piece but to make sure that I completed it as well as I could, that was enough.

4. And the most important thing is that detachment is not about not taking pride in your work, it is not about distancing yourself from people, it is not about destroying the things that you love, it is not about the “losing”. What it is, is the realization that when and if it is time for the parting of ways in any sense, ultimately you know that you will not let it totally engulf you but that you will be okay.

So, that’s the story of the lesson of a mandala and my hope is that it will help someone out there reading this AND serve as a reminder to me of the lessons that I realized.

23 thoughts on “The Mandala Story

  1. So love this Shree, Reminds me of the Books I read by Neale Donald Walsch in his books Conversations with God .. Funny as I only looked at some of my pastel drawings of animals I have hung on my stairs wall… I thought, these will be here when I have gone, and I loved looking at the eyes in the animals I created, as if they are looking directly back at me.. Then the next thought was, I wonder if my children will love them or discard them as clutter as my mind worked over time to a time way off in the future!… My next thought was, it doesn’t matter because I enjoyed the Moment of creating them…

    Reading your post is a little synchronistic if there is such a word, as My spell checker won’t recognise it LOL.. But I have always admired the Monks with their coloured sand paintings and how they sweep them away after all that painstaking work..

    I knew Neale Donald Walsch had touched upon this within his books about detachment… So went searching for a quote.. When I came across this one Which I will leave you here Shree.. for this speaks of what is important within our creative moments…

    ” If you think your life is about DOINGNESS, you do not understand what you are about. Your soul doesn’t care what you do for a living-and when your life is over, neither will you. Your soul cares only about what you’re BEING while you’re doing whatever you’re doing. It is a state of BEINGNESS the soul is after, not a state of doingness.”

    Love and Blessings Shree
    Wonderful thought provoking post….
    ~Sue xox

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    1. Ah Sue…I love that quote!!
      It’s true and it is something that I am learning to let go of. That feeling of just being and enjoying the process when creating and not worrying about getting approval from others. It’s slow…but I’m hopeful that I shall one day create something and suddenly realize that it was the process, the journey that I had treasured!!

      I might look for the book you mentioned, because I do like the tone of the passage that you so kindly typed in your comment!! πŸ™‚

      Thank you for your in depth and lovely comment Sue πŸ™‚

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  2. Interesting post, Shree! This reminded me of a line from “Shamaya”, a song by Susan Aglukark (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Susan_Aglukark), a Canadian Inuk musician: “When you know your need’s too great, you should put out the fire; and journey on…”

    I like the way that line addresses attachment/detachment in a positive way. There’s nothing wrong with attachment per se; it’s only when it becomes a threat to positive growth that it’s a problem. πŸ™‚

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    1. I’m listening to the song as I type my reply to you πŸ˜€ Love the music and the voice..so sweet and melodious it is πŸ˜€
      I like that line too Diane. Everything has it’s good ..sometimes we see it, sometimes we refuse to, sometimes it is hidden for a time and sometimes we may never know the reasons…but w/ever the experience I feel that if we know that in the end we are okay…that is what is important πŸ™‚

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    1. That may be true too Elena…but I do feel that some would be harder to part compared to others? And that is when the test or opportunity to learn about detachment happens πŸ™‚

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  3. such a provocative post darling Shree1 my judgemental self was hoping you would destroy yours and your sister’s cigarettes because I enjoy getting to know you and want you to stick around….
    but I digress – I found this story incredibly rich because it addresses pride, sacrifice, discernment, attachment, and obedience.

    4. And the most important thing is that detachment is not about not taking pride in your work, it is not about distancing yourself from people, it is not about destroying the things that you love, it is not about the β€œlosing”. What it is, is the realization that when and if it is time for the parting of ways in any sense, ultimately you know that you will not let it totally engulf you but that you will be okay. – this is what I indentify with the most! There is a subtle dance between enjoyment, appreciation, affection, and objectivity with all that passes through our path. It is one of many paradoxes.

    thank you for this precious gem Shree.

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    1. Thanks Linda πŸ™‚ I’m so glad it resonated with you πŸ˜€
      As for the ciggies..hehe..ah, well all in good time πŸ˜€
      I too am glad that our paths have crossed and hope that we *do* get to know each other better!! And I’ll be around, never fear πŸ˜‰ We all have our time…:)

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  4. I think it’s quite true we often don’t take pleasure in the creating of something. I know I often don’t. Sometimes it seems I’m just doing it as a job, which isn’t good. And I think the work suffers because of it, too.

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    1. Very true Peter! I’m learning and as I learn I hope that I shall one day truly say that I am just in the moment, enjoying only the process…sigh..I can actually feel the pressure lift up by typing that out! lol

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        1. Ah! Then what a perfect way to learn that there are times when it’s the imperfections make the whole perfect πŸ˜‰

          There is a way of mandala drawing where one quadrant is drawn in and then traced to be reproduced in the other three. I personally don’t do that…I just hand draw everything! So my mandalas aren’t perfect…but the funny thing is, it sort of disappears after it’s been coloured in πŸ™‚

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