Updated: May 21, 2020
Mandalas are not just an art form, but can be used for healing oneself
La Mayuru monastery, Ladakh
My love for art has been a constant since childhood. Art was my solace from this reality. There was no judgment of me when I was in a state of flow, channeling whatever came to me. Being an introvert and a misfit, it kept me engaged in my own imaginary world. My art was nothing extraordinary that I could call myself an artist by any measure. Yet, it was an expression of me. My exploration with various art forms led me to Mandalas. This time, it took me on a different path.
My first few Mandalas were just doodles with precision and symmetry, to broadly describe it. One day, I was exasperated with a relationship that had turned sour for almost three years. No matter how much I worked on myself, it did not change. That evening, things turned ugly. I started drawing a Mandala late at night, to get my mind off it. As I started drawing, I had an epiphany. Instead of concluding that things cannot get better, I prayed that I get a breakthrough this time.
I made an intention for the relationship to heal. I became totally present in my body and with the paper in front of me. I asked for whatever it was in me that was keeping the relationship in the current state, to be released. I asked for forgiveness and I forgave the person too. I realised it had been a pattern in my life, to have this kind of relationships. So I broadened my circle of forgiveness. My awareness told me that the origin of this pattern was not just from this lifetime. I had to make peace with my entire past and also clear the projections into the future.
The process of finishing a piece takes couple of hours. This is long enough to be present with the energy and shift it. This is obvious in hindsight. I did not know this then. The very next evening, my relationship with the person turned for the better, as if by magic. If one knew us, this is nothing short of a miracle. It has gotten better ever since.
I had personally experienced the power of Mandalas as a therapy and not just an art form. I continued to explore this further with my Mandala work and teaching others. There is no doubt that there is something very beautiful about this form. For some it is a meditation in itself. While others have experienced flow and received insights into their situations. I started noticing shifts in other areas of my life, apart from what I intended to change.
Mandala workshop by The Happy Circles
One need not be an artist to draw a Mandala. The creation takes a life of its own. It calls out to you, even in the middle of the night, to come and play with it. It has its own mind. You can never plan how it starts and what it goes on to become.
Mandalas have been a common tool used by various cultures across the world. Mandala originated from the Sanskrit word which means a circular form. The Tibetan Buddhists used it to pray. We see some Mandalas which are considered sacred by Hindus, such as Sri Yantra. Even the kolams or rangoli (originally drawn using rice flour as an offering to the birds and insects) drawn outside South Indian homes have a symmetry and sacred geometry. Even the Native Americans had dream catchers. We see fractals and symmetry in nature too - such as a sunflower, snowflake, a pine cone. It makes me wonder that it is not just an art form, but has deeper significance and power hidden somewhere.
This is my invitation to you to get started on Mandalas, without worrying about the outcome. Do it just for yourself, as if it were your personal journal. Let go and surrender.
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