With today being the fifth Sunday of the month, I thought it would be a good opportunity to take a day off from my regular Sunday morning practice and reflect on my experience of making natural mandalas over the past three months.
The seed was planted last October at a women's' retreat I attended. I was volunteering as the official photographer for the weekend, and also lead a SoulCollage® workshop which was followed by a mandala making workshop.
I was unable to participate in the latter myself as I was busy photographing the event, but I immediately knew this was a practice I wanted to explore further. The examples here are from that workshop and they show how beautiful these can be against a white background
Later that month, SoulCollage® and mandala making came together again when I went for my annual three-night personal retreat at St. Mary's in Sewanee, Tennessee. I set up an altar for my time there and pulled a card from the deck each day along with adding new elements to a mandala I started on the first evening.
Every Sunday morning since then, I've been making natural mandalas and sharing them on my facebook page and instagram with the hashtag #SundayMorningMandalas. My hope was for others to walk with me in this practice, and indeed I've been encouraged and inspired by those who have shared.
"We should learn to see everyday life as mandala - the luminous fringes of experience which radiate spontaneously from the empty nature of our being. " Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche
Twelve weeks later, I look back on that first Sunday as a tipping point in my personal quest to find a way to balance my busy, secular, left brained day-to-day existence with the longing to be creative and better tend my spiritual life. The two biggest obstacles in this endeavor were time and my perfectionism. Natural mandala making opened me up to new ways ofaddressing these challenges that broke me out of my creative and spiritual desert.
By setting aside a small amount of time and releasing my perfection about the outcome, the practice was easy to sustain. My mandalas began to stand as a weekly offering to my Creator - a visual prayer that says, "I'm here, I'm willing, show me the way."
"I saw that everything, all paths I had been following, all steps I had taken, were leading back to a single point — namely, to the mid-point. It became increasingly plain to me that the mandala is the centre. It is the exponent of all paths. It is the path to the centre, to individuation. I knew that in finding the mandala as an expression of the self I had attained what was for me the ultimate." C. G. Jung
Until next time, much love.