Come on in... relax, kick off your shoes, and get cozy for a few minutes. I intend this space to be a happy and encouraging spot in your day where perhaps you'll sign off feeling better than you did when you signed on.

I have so much in life that I want to create, experience, and wrap my head around, and I bet you do too. I dedicate this space as a safe place to "grow" our seeds... Seeds of movement to increase our joy, inspiration, and insight - Seeds of change and evolution of our souls - Seeds of of celebration and creativity - a place where we thrive to live lives we're proud of.

How cool is it that we are given the opportunity to create a future that doesn't exist yet. That we have the choice in creating our lives and planting seeds that will grow into our dreams. I want to learn more everyday about how to do this in my life, and I would love for you to join me.


Monday, November 29, 2010

An Interest in Mandalas

Last year, a sweet and thoughtful friend gave me a "coloring book" called Power Mandalas for my birthday.  She knew of my combined love for anything artistic and spiritual, so this really was an ideal gift for me.  I had heard of mandalas but had never understood the concept behind them.

"Oh, this will be great, " I thought to myself.  "I'll use this all the time!"  And so... months later... there it sat on the art shelf like so many other things in my life... waiting patiently to be discovered, loved, and used.  Yes, I opened it every once in a while to take a look, but I felt like there was never time to invest in sitting down with a box of colored pencils and actually coloring in the mandalas.  I mean, really what was the point when I didn't have the time? 

All year long, my attention was drawn to mandalas.  It seemed I saw them everywhere and thought them very beautiful and intriguing.  But I never took the next step to unravel the mystery of them.  Life's timing is always perfect, though.  Just several weeks ago, I found the mandala book on my art shelf, and this time I was ready to receive it.  I love how that works!

So I sat on the couch with my kids, and we colored.  They drew, and I colored in my mandala book, and I've got to say that it was a lovely experience.  Curled up on the couch with my children's voices in the background peacefully just coloring a trail of design, I finally understood the importance of nudging myself to just sit and color the mandala even though time was an issue.  Since then, I have been coloring lots of mandalas and have become quite fascinated with them.  So I thought I'd share a little bit about them with you, in case you might be interested too! 

My first Mandala
The word "mandala" comes from Sanskrit... loosely translated it means "circle."  But it's far more than just a simple shape.  It represents the idea of wholeness and can be seen as a model for the organizational structure of life itself - a cosmic diagram, so to speak, that reminds us of our relationship to the infinite.  Pretty cool stuff. 

This is the meditation that
accompanies the mandala above.
You are supposed to think about it
while you color the mandala.

The mandala goes waaaay back.  It has been used in many religious traditions:  the Indians of the Americas used medicine wheels and made beautiful mandalas in the sand, the Aztecs created the circular calendar, and the Taoist "yin yang" symbol is a mandala as well. Tibetan mandalas are very intricate religious illustrations and are still revered and used for meditation today.  Even labyrinths are a type of mandala found in many cultures which are used as tools for centering. 

The principle behind the mandala is of "an integrated structure organized around a unifying center."
- Longchenpa

I interpret this as an all encompassing source in the middle... the unifying center... and the interlocking parts branching out from it in amazing and brilliant varied designs - showing the connection of all things!

And how cool that the mandala is found throughout many culture's buildings and structures... from Buddhist stupas to Muslim mosques and Christian cathedrals, the mandala is a common theme in architecture all over the world. 

Here's my favorite part of it... the mandala actually represents the universe itself.  It is both the microcosm AND the macrocosm... the world that extends both beyond and within our bodies and minds.  The mandala describes  both material and non-material realities and appears in all aspects of life:  the celestial circles of earth, sun and moon, as well as a conceptual circle of friends, family, and community.  And what I'm discovering is that so many of the universe's creations ARE mandalas:  spider webs, flowers, galaxies, seashells, oh my gosh - the list goes on and on! 

yin yang
I am only beginning to understand the power and the complexity of mandalas and how they have affected humans for thousands of years.  I can't wait to delve further into them and learn more of their archetypal mystery.  LOVE IT!

So how do mandalas relate to you?  Well, you can simply look at mandalas because they are truly a visual delight with all their colors and intricacies.  You can take it a step further and let your eyes follow the lines and colors:  If you look from the outside to the inside, it is said to increase your concentration.  And if you look from the inside out, it is said to help open yourself up to something.  It will center you by leading you to your center, becoming a kind of meditation for you. 

Or you can also color mandalas.  Watercolors, colored pencils, felt-tip pens, or whatever you choose, just follow your colorful desires and have fun.  And it's not important how well you paint or color.  The goal of the mandala is pleasure, but you'll be having such fun coloring that you'll not notice that something else is happening.  "They" say that you will begin relaxing, gradually becoming calm, you will playfully circle around your center and see yourself in the great scheme of the whole.  Creating the circular design of a mandala is a meditative practice, a healing exercise, and a pleasurable act of creativity.  It is a symbol of the Self and can provide a connection to our innermost being.

I am starting to feel these things when I color a mandala, but even if I can't quite get to connecting to my innermost being or finding my deeper self, at least I am taking some time in a meditative state... just following a path... just wandering with my thoughts and coloring... It's all good.

If you are interested in some cool holiday Mandala gifts for yourself or others, check these links out:

Creating Mandalas  For insight, healing, and self-expression
The Mandala Workbook  A creative guide for Self-exploration, balance, and well-being
Coloring Mandalas I  For insight, healing, and Self-expression
Power Mandalas (this includes others on Amazon)

still working on this one...
a meditation of energy and power

So today, I will allow myself the time to quiet my mind, look deeper into myself, and find peace... whether that be through looking at or coloring a mandala, taking a walk, meditating, or staring off into space.  I will respect and love myself enough to find the time.  

Have a wonderful and colorful week!

I appreciate your visit, 



  1. Great post stacey. I, of course, love that mandalas are the shapes of galaxies :)

  2. interesting post today, I will watch for the patterns through out my day and think more about this!