"As a man is, so he sees. As the eye is formed, such are its powers." William Blake

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Friday, September 25, 2009

Mandalas: the soul made visible

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The universal symbolism of the circle resonates deeply with our inner self. It symbolizes the idea of perfection, completeness, and wholeness. Mandala is the Sanskit word for "circle". It is a pervasive image in the art of folks and cultures all over the world, in the form of paintings, dances or buildings. Traditionally, the mandala is divided in four quarters, representing some kind of essential structure of the Universe – four cardinal points, four seasons, etc. It expresses the notion of Cosmos, of reality unified in a whole. They evoke a perfect relationship between space and time, form and movement.


In spiritual traditions worldwide, mandalas are largely used as healing, meditation, and teaching tools. They have the power to work as a mirror for the spiritual or archetypal content of the psyche. Through the process of mandala-making, one could access levels of consciousness that could not be achieved in a state of alertness. The colors, shapes, symmetries of a mandala can alter the pattern of our brain waves, providing changes in perception and a sensation of freedom and serenity. This is when we get connected to our inner self, or Divine nature; then the invisible comes to the surface and becomes available to the physical view. Due to its character of wholeness, the mandala can take the viewer and the maker to an experience of connection to the Universe, helping to reunite the fragmented pieces of their selves.



In today's world, when people are so easily dragged by the urges of the contemporary lifestyle, they forget to live their inner life, or attend to the needs of their souls. They become shattered, allowing illness to find a fertile ground to grow. Illness is nothing but unbalance, disconnection, disharmony between the parts of a whole. This is why making or meditating on a mandala has the power to provide relief for stress, bring focus and work as a tool for integrating mind, body and soul.


You can experience the benefits of the Mandala by just looking at one for about ten minutes, every day. Choose a design that “speaks” to you, even if you can't explain why. Before starting, close your eyes and take three deep breaths; then breathe normally while you let yourself to be conducted by the colors and shapes in front of you. Don't allow that any alien thought comes to your mind; when that happens, turn your focus into your respiration again. When you finish, take three deep breaths again and write down any ideas and thoughts that may have occurred to you during your meditation. Give thanks for those moments of inner peace and for any positive insight that you might have. 


Mandalas by Ofira Oriel: http://www.oriel-o.com


To know more, visit: 
- Flower Mandalas - a blog about mandalas, art, healing, and transformation: 
http://blog.beliefnet.com/flowermandalas/
- Article by Christine Valter Painterns on Patheos:
http://www.patheos.com/Resources/Additional-Resources/Mandalas-Part-2.html


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