A mandala is a circular format representing the wholeness of existence. At a basic level the circular template means there is no one area of dominance (top versus bottom) other than a central point : inner flows into outer, top flows around to bottom and back up again. Working within the shape of the mandala, our eye and hand travel around the surface, often spinning the mandala and shifting perspective as we work within it.
According to psychologist Carl Jung, mandalas are "the psychological expression of the totality of the self." Jung posited that in working with mandalas, we tap into archetypal symbols and messages that constitute the collective unconsciousness. Jung equated the mandala with the eye, expressing the action of Seeing merging into Consciousness. To create a mandala is to See the play of our physical and spiritual impulses, urges, desires, struggles and triumphs.
Given the round format of the mandala, it seems natural to equate it to the fullness of the Moon. Thinking about the natural cycle of the moon as it transitions from empty (new) to full, and back to empty again, is a beautiful example of our own energy patterns. Emptying myself of what no longer serves or describes me, opening to fill and receive new insights, new possibilities, transiting into an every expanding understanding of myself and life. From that new perspective, I begin once again the process of shedding what no longer fits into this new perspective. And so I roll!
According to different world cultures, each month's full moon offers symbolic teachings attuned to the seasons. As part of my mandala practice, I will be meditating upon the life lessons of each month, utilizing the energy of the New Moon (new beginnings) to assist me in setting an intention for myself for that moon cycle. What I hope to create is a monthly "snapshot" of my inner growth tied to the seasons along with a kind of monthly mindfulness practice.
Knowing that any journey is enriched by like-minded company, I am proffering this handmade invitation to have you join me:
direct link to video through vimeo here
Mandala Moon Play will be a once a month email with written prompts and ideas; material suggestions; an audio link to a recorded guided visualization on that month's moon energy; and a private flickr group account where we can upload our images and share through comments or discussion threads. As I sit here brewing all this up (literally, on the spot!) I am envisioning postcards or a group journal to commemorate a seasonal or yearly cycle of mandalas.
For future offerings, please contact me directly at: Lishofmann(at)novia(dot)net.