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Monday, October 3, 2011

Mandala Meditation

This week's Monday Meditation involves coloring a mandala while visualizing what you'd like to manifest in your life.
Closely associated with Buddhism and Hinduism, a mandala (Sanskrit for "circle" or "completion") is typically a two dimensional painting or drawing of a three dimensional sacred space. It is usually circular and ranges in intricacy from a very simple design made for children, to an incredibly elaborate design that can take hours to complete.
(Personally, I am really looking forward to practicing this meditation and reverting back to being a little girl when I could become totally immersed and present while coloring.)
How can a Mandala help?
People utilize mandalas for many reasons. Most commonly they are used as meditational aids and in ceremonies of peace. But even psychotherapists are using them to help their patients (including children) resolve problematic emotional states and gain insight into hidden problems. Other opportunities to create or use a mandala include:
- to aid in prayer
- to help focus

- for spiritual and emotional healing

- for relaxation

- for awakening

- for personal growth

The Sand Mandala
The sand mandala is an ancient art form that is unique to Tibetan Buddhism. The artwork is made by placing fine sand, which is ground and dyed by hand, into an intricate design of the world in its divine form. It is intended to serve as a map by which the ordinary human mind is transformed into the enlightened mind. One of the most interesting aspects of Tibetan sand mandalas is that the diagram is meant to be impermanent. After days or weeks of painstakingly creating the intricate pattern in sand used in a peace ceremony, the sand mandala is swept up and spread into a nearby body of water as a blessing. Many people find the dismantling and scattering of the sand to be the most moving part of the ritual.
Time to Practice Your Mandala Meditation
There are many types of mandala meditations you can try. The one I selected, Manifesting What You Desire, is just one of many from One Million Mandalas by Madonna Gauding. Take your parent and/or adult hat off and let that little kid in you come out for a bit.
1) Close your eyes, take a few deep breaths, and try to clear your mind of any thoughts. Simply concentrate on your breathing for a few minutes.
2) Open your eyes and select a pre-drawn mandala that feels right for you and what you would like to manifest in your life. You may print this mandala to the left, or do an online search for a printable mandala that appeals to you. You can even create your own mandala.
3) Begin to color your chosen mandala with colored pencils, or any other traditional media. Start at the outer ring and work your way to the center. Choose colors that you feel drawn to in thinking about what you desire.
4) As you color your mandala, visualize what you would like to manifest -- perhaps a job, a relationship, a house, a more mindful parenting style, or something as simple as a new pair of shoes. Feel what it would be like to have what you desire, and imagine it in as much detail as you can.
5) Depending on how intricate the mandala selected is, you may not finish coloring it in one sitting. That's ok, you can return to it as often as you need to, practicing visualizing while coloring it. Once finished, place your mandala where you can see it on a daily basis until you manifest what you desire.
Make sure to let me know how it goes for you if decide to try it. Have fun with it!

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