Wednesday, September 9, 2009

What is a Mandala? Can it help me deal with stress?

Does your mind sometimes run like a hamster racing around a wheel?
Harried desperate and frenzied ... moving in circles?
Since mandalas relate to both sides of the brain
they are a helpful way to deal with the stress and anxiety of life.

With the left brain we can use reason and logic
to acknowledge the frenzy associated with stress
and consider possible forms of healing.

These ancient geometric images of interlocking shapes
are found all around the world.
Their balanced and repetitive patterns
appeal to the left side of the brain. 

Carl Jung encouraged creative and relaxing use of mandalas 
to help the subconscious open up to healing.

Journal flower-doodling
Mandalas also appeal to the right side of our brain as we
contemplate them and slowly settle into inner silence.
We find the concentric symmetry of a mandala all around us.
Consider a daffodil, ferris wheel, compass,
or stained glass window.

Rose Window in St. Chapelle, Paris

At this point you might be thinking about
how a mandala can help you deal with your daily stress.

Here are three spiritual practices you might try with mandalas.
* Print and color a mandala with three or four crayons, markers, or colored pencils. You can use one of the ancient sacred geometry mandalas above or the creative mandala below that Catherine Whipple created.

Mandala Swirl 6 by Catherine Whipple
many more mandalas for you to enjoy.

After you print your mandala select colors to use. You may either intentionally choose or randomly select the colors. Slowly color or lightly sketch different sections. The process of repeating or alternating colors around the shape will both derive from and lead you into the subconscious or your deeper self.

** Draw your own mandala.  Any concentric symmetrical shape can serve as a model.  Some people experiment with shapes on a computer; some draw flowers or the spokes of a windmill; others simply doodle with circles, triangles, and other shapes.

*** Reflect on a mandala shape that appeals to you, perhaps something you've noticed around you. As you observe the image you select, soften your eyes and relax your focus; simply rest with the colors and shapes to move into mystery beyond words and thoughts.

Our daughter often finds mandala-like shapes!

Each of these practices is an invitation
into sacred time and holy space.
There is no correct or incorrect technique, 
no proper or improper procedure.
It is the process itself working within us: a means of grace.

I'd love to hear about the process of working with your mandala
or see a picture of it; you can send it to me by email.
Enjoy the journey!


Cat Whipple said...

Hi Ginny,
Thanks for yuor email and letting me know you posted a link to my site (self help healing arts journal). Your site looks AWESOME!! Congrats and keep up the wonderful, creative work.

Sonya said...

The firework photo! Awesome! I'm remembering your thoughts this past summer about the flowers I used to draw. Mandalas DO seem to have been a central part of my life...the flowers...which I drew so often and for so long. I wonder what the significance and effects of those flowers were for me? Perhaps healing...and peace...and...something to reflect on a bit more... Thanks for sharing.

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Anonymous said...

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