The Mandala Forest
 
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A mandala is any image that can be considered sacred or meaningful.  Mandalas can be used as tools for transformation and balance, resolution and healing.  The intention of a healing mandala is its source of energy, and is initially determined by whoever "creates" the image or wills it into existence.  The image itself is designed to reflect only the purest form of that intention, the form that is shared intrinsically by all.

I don’t remember when I first started drawing mandalas, but I was very little.  They were called doodles back then and didn’t seem to have much of a purpose--random drawings with loosely radial symmetry.  I worked on them mostly while I was supposed to be paying attention in class or working on an assignment.  Over the years, I started being more concerned with precision and complexity, details that were more pleasing to my eyes. To celebrate a significant personal transformation event in my late twenties, I invited a few close friends to share a ceremony.  I designed the invitation with great attention to color, geometric form and symbolism.  One of the friends I’d invited said, “hey, that’s a mandala,” and referred to me, for the first time, to the work of professor C.G. Jung.  From there, my formal study began. Soon I began to realize how much more powerful a relationship I had with an image if I established an intention, and focused on that word, phrase, or idea while creating the design.  My growing awareness of spirituality and avid exploration of alternative healing modalities helped produce the logical conclusion that if healing intention goes into an image, then healing must come out. The properties of colored light (as a significant portion of the electromagnetic energy spectrum) and its effects on the body’s cells and molecules have been studied ad infinitum.  Psychologists have provided abundant evidence of the mood-altering effects of color and shape, and their significance in emotional and intellectual development. Beyond science lies the boundless realm of artistry, out of which have come creations whose transformative power few of us can deny.  There are innumerable ways to explain why mandalas can be successful tools of healing, not the least of which is the contribution of something beautiful and unique into the world. As human beings, we each have gifts and flaws.  My personal approach to mandala design honors these in myself and all of us.  Slight deviations in accuracy and symmetry (sometimes called “flaws” or “imperfections”) may actually provide an image with “differential” power, contributing to capacitation (energy storage capability) and torque (the multiplication and exponentiation of force). When drawing or meditating on a mandala, I first repeat the intention silently, over and over again.  Then I close my eyes and let colors and geometric forms dance around and line up inside my visual field.  As I’m drawing the grid (that provides the invisible background behind the design), the shell (which is the basic outline and shapes which make up the form) and finally the colors and depth of the finished image, I will repeat the intention verbally and silently, usually while listening to soothing or inspiring music.  The finished image is rarely what I envision it to be when I get started, but nevertheless, contains the results of all the meditations undertaken while producing it. It is my firm belief that intention and image provide the foundation of the power of a healing mandala.  From there, the sharing of the image among other individuals, and their time and energy spent observing, studying and meditating upon it, serves to enhance and heighten the original healing intention.  In this way, mandala images are the focal points in an ever-strengthening network of commonality that is ultimately defined by it’s contribution toward that which is in the highest good.

Rev Robb Seal is a massage and bodywork therapist, healing coach, artist, and community minister in Boulder County, Colorado.  His mandala art can be found here.

 


Comments

Henry Reed link
10/21/2011 22:01

I enjoy making and sharing mandalas daily, from my blog, since November, 2004. Go see dailymandala.blogspot.com

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