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|
|This is the meditation that|
accompanies the mandala above.
You are supposed to think about it
while you color the mandala.
The principle behind the mandala is of "an integrated structure organized around a unifying center."
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.
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,