My dear friend, Elaine Hall of The Miracle Project, connected Diane and I several weeks ago, and I’m so glad she did! Diane leads “Magic of Mandala” workshops in Los Angeles which, as she explains in this post, utilize the age-old power of mandala-making to assist people in accessing their subconscious and their true self. I’ve often talked about making mandalas as a powerful ritual that can be utilized for all of life’s transitions and I’m thrilled to have a place to send people who are interested in exploring this art further.
Each one of us is a work in progress. In a physical and spiritual sense we are in a constant metamorphosis. Some changes are micro and some are macro, some internal others external. Our very existence is a perpetual transition. Much of this goes on quite quietly and uneventfully, but sometimes we get a heads up about an event or experience that holds great significance for us; a profound change occurs to shake the constant. Such is the case when a woman gets married, when you face the departure of being dependent and a child to becoming a life-partner and wife. You must hold the feeling of beginning and ending simultaneously.
Understandably our culture places great emphasis on the celebration of a marriage, from the engagement announcement to the wedding day. As Sheryl Paul explains so beautifully in her book The Conscious Bride: “The roots of the excitement are clear; it is the stress and confusion of this time that have been ignored. The road that leads to and from the wedding day is not always smooth. From the moment the declaration is made to enter into a lifetime commitment, a wide array of difficult emotions rise to the surface.” Some of these emotions may be apprehension, excitement, doubt, fear, hope, desire – the list is infinite. During a constant ebb and flow, you as an individual, remain the one true constant.
One wonderful way to ground yourself during these times is to engage in ritual. Ritual can slow things down and restore a feeling of center and calmness. After all, a wedding is one of the most accepted, well-defined rituals we have in our culture. Why not embrace ritual to relate to your wedding in a holistic way? It can help provide you with balance, reflection and clarity, especially in the days and weeks preceding your marriage.
Traditionally, a mandala is a piece of circular artwork, spiritual or sacred by nature. Mandalas are among the most ancient art forms created by human beings. They represent a microcosm of our world and life, symbolizing the totality of existence, inner or outer. Rock carvings found all over the world incorporate the circular form in variations such as spirals, crosses and concentric circles. These designs illustrate the idea of wholeness among many cultures. Ancient peoples built stone circles, their astral measurements as accurate as our modern day computers. In Tibet, the process of creating a mandala is as important as the finished product. It takes years of preparation and training to gain the skill and knowledge required to paint. Even when one is able to begin, meditation for three days must occur before brush can be put to canvas!
Medicine Wheels and Dream Catchers are manifestations of Native American mandalas. As Black Elk, the Dakota elder so eloquently expressed: “Everything the Power of the World does is done in a circle. The sky is round, and I have heard that the earth is round like a ball, and so are all the stars. The wind, in its greatest power, whirls. Birds make their nests in circles, for theirs is the same religion as ours. The sun comes forth and goes down again in a circle. The moon does the same, and both are round. Even the seasons form a great circle in their changing, and always come back again to where they were. The life of a man is a circle from childhood to childhood, and so it is in everything where power moves.”
I often host mandala-making groups and workshops. Each and every one amazes me. The intent, the process, the result are inspiring. Magical actually.
By dedicating a specific time, tools and space to work on your mandala you can begin to settle in and gain a deeper understanding of events. A consecration takes place and that is what makes ritual so effective. Proceed in whatever manner feels right to you as there is no right or wrong, that is part of the beauty of it. To paraphrase Heraclites: “You cannot step into the same river twice.” The piece you create today will be different than if you did it yesterday, or tomorrow, but you remain the anchor. The mandala-making process is as individual and transcendent as your life. Let your work be a visual manifestation of what you need at the moment. By choosing specific imagery, you elect to celebrate or mourn, purge or attract, be intense or light-hearted. Whichever, you are choosing to embrace the one constant that endures: change.
I hope to share other insights with you in the future regarding my work with mandalas on topics such as:
• The power and truth that a personal mandala can manifest
• Their history and role in other cultures and how it relates to us
• More details/instructions on how to create your own mandala
I would also love to hear any personal stories of YOUR experience with mandalas and invite you to contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Diane Doyle facilitates the “Magic of Mandalas” workshop to give individuals an opportunity to explore and reconnect with their core creativity, which she believes is innate in every single person. Imagine being able to see into your subconscious; to explore your innermost thoughts and feelings, goals and desires; to discover your true self through creative expression. Yours. This is the Magic of Mandalas.
For information about upcoming events and/or to book your own party visit: magicofmandalas.com
We have a fun Face Book page too! Just type Magic of Mandalas in the search field.