Mindful Mandalas: an Eight week Self-Paced eCourse is a visual drawing practice that calms and anchors you into quiet stillness. Who doesn’t need a little bit of that? By getting lost in the process of mindful mandala-making, your stress and worries melt away. We use very simple materials. All you need is some quiet time and your kitchen table. This eCourse is self-paced so if your life allows you to complete two lessons in a week, you can. If your life get busy and you have to skip a few weeks, no problem. You access to Mindful Mandalas for a whole year.
You are probably asking yourself, what the heck is a mindful mandala and why would anyone want to create them?
What Does It Mean To Be Mindful?
to be conscious or aware of something
to be attentive
to be present
to pay close attention
to give gentle effort towards being continually aware of what is before you
We hear this word quite frequently in meditation and yoga circles. When we think of mindfulness, we usually make associations with Zen Buddhism or the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) meditation practices taught by Jon Kabat-Zinn, founder of the Center for Mindfulness at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. But this idea of finding value and purpose in silence and stillness also roots back to one of America’s oldest religious communities, The Quakers.
When I think of the word mindful, I think of my Mom’s Mom, Grandma O. She was a Quaker who embraced listening to the still small voice within, in whatever form that might take. She wrote poetry from that mindful stillness and quiet.
In a different way, my father practiced mindfulness in his profession as a musician, where deep listening is crucial to the process of both creating it and experiencing it. As I began to practice making art in my late teens, what I loved most of all about the process was the soft quiet that enveloped me. To have hours disappear, to get lost in the creative process, was magical.
I have devoted over 40 years to making art, but it was not until I began teaching art as healing in 1995 that I realized making art was my form of meditation. My studio is sacred to me, as it allows me to disconnect from my mind’s worrisome chatter and be present with what is about to unfold before me. You can’t create art if your mind is someplace else.
What Is A Mandala?
I fell in love with mandalas during my travels throughout India in the year 2000. There were impermanent chalk mandalas drawn daily on sidewalks in front of homes, storefronts and temples. There were small flower mandalas in taxi cab and restaurant altars. No matter where they were, they were created with reverence. They were a visual form of prayer, which thrilled me. I came home and immediately integrated mandala-making into my own artwork as well as my teaching. Making mandalas is an easy, simple and direct way into the world of creating.
Mandala, the Sanskrit word for circle, is a universal symbol of balance, wholeness and unity. It is a shape without a beginning or an end. They have been created for centuries as meditational symbols that, when contemplated, lead to self-awareness, insight and peace. Think: the planet Earth, the sun, the moon, stained-glass rose windows in cathedrals, Buddhist sand paintings… Mandalas are everywhere!
Why Create Mindful Mandalas?
Creating mandalas is an ancient practice I’ve revamped for new times, our time. Creating a mandala is a journey that trusts and supports a willingness to open into the playful intuitive mystery of the creative process. When I begin the process of “birthing” a mandala, I have absolutely no idea what the mandala is going to look like. Sometimes that can be scary, but with practice, it becomes as natural as breathing. Staying in the present moment has never been easier.
When we create mandalas, there are many amazing by-products besides just plain feeling better when you’re done. The links below show some of the processes that we will cover in the Mindful Mandalas eCourse.
We create Mindful Mandalas to release stress and anxieties.
We create Mindful Mandalas to bring tranquility into our lives.
We create Mindful Mandalas to restore balance into our lives.
We create Mindful Mandalas to harvest gratitude in our lives.
We create Mindful Mandalas to gather strength.