I first met mandalas in one of the colouring books so popular in recent times. Celtic mandalas. You can just use them as a quiet time exercise, choosing colours which seem to you appropriate. Or you can use them as they’re intended as a form of meditation, focusing on each of the elements in the picture and delving into deeper meanings.
My interest in mandalas stepped up a notch as I read about the use Carl Jung made of them. He met them when studying Eastern religions and focused on the symbolic language within them. My first attempts to create my own mandala came through Janet Conner; fellow spiritual explorer, with her course The Lotus and The Lily.
As a self-confessed non-artistic person (cue thanks to my art teacher in school for that discouragement), I approached the exercise with caution but became fascinated and as time went on bolder in my choices. The key thing is to understand that it’s your choice which is important. It has to work for you and I had to find symbols for my choices. It’s a way the inner voice speaks despite our unwillingness to listen or trust. Sometimes the symbols I chose made no sense to me. For instance why would I include an octopus. But these creatures have flexibility plus the ability to regenerate. I certainly needed that in my year of 2017.
Coming back to this year’s venture, I had the stubborn determination that it should move. Not simply be a flat surface. But when I started to tackle it, I realised that it would become too complicated to create. So I now have an almost completed flat one and an outline of a mobile for a second room.
What I’ve discovered about the mandalas, as Janet assured us would happen is that our instincts choose symbols ahead of our ego driven mental activity. And that throughout the year in question we would discover why we’d chosen to create the mandala the way we did.
2019 by all accounts will be a year of more upheaval and movement. My focus will be on moving on with as much curiosity and open-mindedness as possible. The questions to ask will be more important than any answers I find.
more information about Janet Connor and her spiritual explorations.