Sunday, June 12, 2011

Rainbow Mandala

Rainbow Mandala
approx 9" by 9"

The Mandala above is my favorite Mandala so far.  I say 'so far' because who knows what the next one will look like?

Mandalas have fascinated me for a very long time.  I know they are a powerful symbol in Christianity , Hinduism, Islam  and many Earth-Centered religions, but what amazes me is that the use of Mandalas is virtually the same in each case.  They are used as an aid in prayer, meditation and healing.  They are always used for positive reasons.

Mandalas are usually understood to have no spiritual value in and of themselves (you would not venerate a Mandala), but rather they are a doorway, a path, if you will, to that which is eternal.  Some see it as a pathway to God.  Others see it as a way into ourselves, the deep, wise, inner self.  Still others see it as a tool to access the Divine, however you understand it.

Mandalas, it must be remembered, use the language of symbols.  Color, shapes and placement all have separate meanings.

In the very middle of the centre symbol is usually(but not always) a tiny red dot.  Ideally, the rest of the piece keeps your eyes moving but lands you back in the centre, focusing on the dot.  This particular Mandala uses a white, fading into black center, with the red dot in the very middle.  This denotes definition, or understanding.  From the center, I created a rainbow going out, indicating an inclusion of all.  The entire design is placed on a soft-focused black and white background, again, representing understanding or knowledge.

In short, this particular Mandala represents brotherhood/sibling hood, based on understanding and appreciation for our differences.

A final note, Mandalas are seldom, if ever, planned out ahead of time.  You may have a vague idea of what you want, but a true Mandala-Maker allows the Mandala to grow as it needs to and does not force it into a pre-conceived pattern.

Yesterday was my birthday.  It was one of those milestone birthdays and it was a good day to pause and reflect.  I spent most of the day doing artwork, part of it with friends also doing artwork.  Very pleasant and comfortable. 

But the times when I was working on my artwork alone I used to think over my life up until this point.  Like most of us, I have had high points that I am proud of and low points I would rather not think about.  I think I have done more good than harm in the world.  I have tried to keep my priorities straight and frankly, the older I get, the better I am at prioritizing.

Right now is a very good time in my life.  Despite physical problems and monetary woes, I am happy with my life most of the time.  I like who I am and (when I am not yelling at myself for not being more useful), I like what I am experiencing.  Since I am disabled and pretty much bed-bound, I have a lot of time to think and feel.  But mostly I am learning how to be in the moment.  Yes, the Buddhist ideal of Being In the Moment.  That's what this part of my life is teaching me.

As I type this, I am aware of the birds outside, exchanging gossip.  There must be some very juicy tidbits, because they are all very garrulous today.  I can see the tree branches out of the door to the porch, along with some of my beloved houseplants.  Recently, someone gave me a huge amount of houseplants that I added to my own, and now the porch resembles a hothouse.  I love the different greens and shapes of leaves.  As I get to know each plant, its individuality starts coming through.  They seem to like it here.

Two golden cats are asleep on the bed and a third golden cat is in the basket on the shelf at the foot of my bed.  The two smaller dogs are curled up next to me and are also fast asleep.  Someone is snoring.  The fan softly hums as it moves a slight cooling breeze over me and the day feels lazy. 

I am surrounded by those I love, my plants and the animals.  The humans that I love mostly contacted me yesterday with well-wishes. 

The Mandala above ties it all together for me.  As I worked on it, I found myself feeling a peaceful well-being.  The inclusion of all life --- plants, animals and humans -- together in harmony and trust, that is Peace for me.

May Peace be with You.


  1. I love thinking of the birds gossiping.

    If being debilitatingly ill were good for nothing else, then it is good for learning to be more in the moment, and since the moment is where joy is found, it is no wonder you are happy with your life most of the time. (As am I.) <3