In the last journal entry I discussed how breathing, Pranayama practices, and other yoga practices help me when I am challenged to be patient and calm. Another practice that I have recently returned to is art. Art is a wonderful meditative practice or activity because it is when we remove the mind from the process, when we are being mind-less, we become fully open channels of inspiration, intuition, and divine love. When we allow ourselves to be mind-less, we are in full acceptance of the present moment (mindfulness), and patience becomes the natural state.
Last night I attended a mandala art gathering. Mandala, मण्डल, means circle, disk, and orb. The circle symbolizes the divine, the heavenly realm, and Source or the One that is All. Mandalas are an art form that has appeared in many cultures throughout the world. They represent sacred geometry, tell mythological stories, convey messages of the gods or the Divine, map out the Cosmos, and channel messages from the unconscious.
The discussion at last night’s gathering reminded me of how I would turn to art when I was a child to deal with the stress and frustrations at home, and of how easy it was and is for me to empty my mind, become mind-less, while drawing and doing creative projects. I had no plan as I started, but used the suggested Valentine’s Day theme to start me off. Then I just let the pencils flow as they wished. Without the heavy burdens of the mind, I felt like I could fly like a butterfly. At the end, we were asked to write down a title and any words that came regarding our mandalas (see left). I noticed that when I am in a patient, present/mindful, yet mind-less state, I am most expansive.
Most mandalas have an intuitive, irrational character and, through their symbolical context, exert a retroactive influence on the unconscious. They therefore possess a “magical” significance, like icons, whose possible efficacy was never consciously felt by the patient.
– Carl Jung
The Tibetan sand mandalas are an amazing example of patience and the acceptance of the present moment and the impermanence of this earthly realm. After spending days slowly and patiently creating elaborate, intricate, and beautiful mandalas “painted” with colored grains of sand, the Buddhist monks often destroy their works of art (sometimes the destruction is even artistic) demonstrating the impermanence of material life. In an act to spread the healing of the mandala, the sands are spread among any onlookers and also poured into a body of water to spread throughout the world.
Through patience, by cultivating mindfulness by becoming mind-less, we can all spread our beautiful and mandala-like colorful wings to spread love, light, and healing to others.
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