Mandala Monday – Mandala: Ancient Traditions for Peace and Healing by Rae Luskin

5 mandalas by Atmara Rebecca Cloe

The circle is a universal symbol. It appears everywhere in nature that we chose to look: sun, moon, rings on a tree trunk, in a bird’s nest or a lotus flower. It can be found in the iris of the eye or in the cells of the body. These are portals to the greater world, the unseen the Divine. Mandalas are a part of many spiritual traditions around the world. A major part of most eastern religious traditions, mandalas take the viewer into the mysteries of the mind in a wordless meditation. Usually in Buddhist traditions, the circle is enclosed with a deity at each corner, by absorbing the Deities into the unconscious mind, the viewer can shift their focus from the distractions of the outside world into self awareness, love and healing. C.G. Jung the famous Swiss Psychologist instituted the use of mandala in Western Europe as tools for integrating the psyche and accessing the unconscious. He believed that by putting personal symbols in the circle, the mandala itself had healing properties. In Native American tradition, sand mandala is used for healing and teaching about life and community.

In the realm of healing and holistic medicine, mandalas are powerful forms of transformation and integration. They can express anger, pain, grief, and sorrow all within the safe and sacred experience. Mandalas can show us where we have been and where we are going. The process of creating is transformative in itself. The process of viewing can take us deeper into ourselves, creating profound changes. According to David Fontana, PhD. Author of Learn to Meditation. “Their images speak directly to the unconscious, producing and experience of profound harmony and a mystical sense of oneness with the spiritual forces that they represent.” In recent years, Mandalas have been used to enhance Western medical practices. Linda Cornell, PhD., has been using this work to help people in physical crisis create symbolic healing. She used this in combination with traditional medicine when dealing with her own cancer.”Combining these methods proved quite successful. I felt happy that I had taken sensible responsibility for my part in the cure while working in tandem with established medicine.” A number of years ago I participated in one of her workshops, I was personally amazed and in awe at the healing that came through. One of my favorite exercises tapped into our own ability to heal, to be conduits of Divine Light.This exercise is adapted from her book, Mandala Luminous Symbols for Healing. Draw an 18 inch circle on black paper with a white pencil. Within the center draw a smaller circle. Next use a white pencil to trace the outline of your hands and arms inside the larger circle. Leave the center circle blank. Draw very lightly. Have your hands overlap or touch in some way. Now close your eyes. Feet flat on the floor, hands in your lap. Slowly take three deep breaths. With each inhalation bring in peace, joy and love. With each exhalation, release tension, stress and worry. Keeping your heart and mind open, imagine bringing a golden light down through the top of your head, the Divine Life Force through your head, neck and shoulders, arms, into your hands and fingers. Concentrate on this beautiful divine light moving through your body, your lungs, your heart, your other organs. Feel the warmth and healing light moving into your pelvis, down your legs and into your feet and toes. Continue directing this love energy into all the cells of your body. Know that you have the ability to radiate health and happiness, love and peace at any moment into the essence of who you are. Imagine the Divine Light coming through your hands and fingers as vibrant good health. When you feel or have an image of vibrant good health open your eyes.Take your white pencil and draw the vibrant good health image in the center circle. Then draw the Divine Light coming from your fingers. When you have finished your drawing, step back from it. Spend a few minutes just looking, contemplating the possibility that the answers are always within you. There is a life force within each of us that can be accessed and used to transform our lives. Remember you have the ability to heal yourself. The final part of this exercise is to write an affirmation affirming your good health. I am healthy, whole and complete. I listen with love to my body. The answers are within me.

About Author : Rae Luskin, a Chicago artist, teacher, activist and the author of ART FROM MY HEART, is a leader in using creative expression to foster self-worth, resilience, healing and social change. For more information, visit our site : www.raeluskin.net

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