BookClub Blog: Mandalas: the convergence of two workbooks


mandala books

Over the past year, I have become aware that Mandalas will play an important part of my journey. These books made their appearance in my life when I felt confused and needed direction. After reading The Mandala workbook by Suzanne Fincher, I was excited at the possibilities and also intimidated to begin the process. Mandala in Sanskrit means “magic or sacred circle”. Tminahe concept of the circle resonates with me as I began to become aware that I need things to come full circle in order to release and heal. It was immensely calming to watch Mina dance in circles. I always joked that she was my little Sufi, whirling dervish! Little did I know that she had created her own way of connecting to herself by dancing a mandala. Even now as I write this blog, she is whirling, dancing, and creating with her toys. She has a way of balancing herself with circles that it was no surprise to me that she was excited at the prospect of creating Mandalas when my second Mandala book appeared last month. The Mandala Healing workbook was misplaced in the puzzle section of the thrift store. It contained not only a workbook, but also stencils and a music CD. I had felt blocked to create a mandala from scratch and the stencils were immensely freeing. There was an immediacy to begin and I asked Mina if she would like to create healing mandalas together. If we are to grow and heal, let’s do something together that will provide insight into our subconscious as well as bond us together over something beautiful.

After spending days reading about what mandalas were and the various Eastern and Western traditions surrounding the sacred circle, we began. First step, create a healing space. Mina loves crystals and find comfort in their healing attributes, so off to the crystal store we go!  She took her time looking at the various crystals, asking questions about their properties before picking the ones she wanted. I let go over controlling how many she needed to get. This was a healing space for her and I needed her to have what she needed. It was interesting: she gravitated toward stones for Love, Grounding, and Courage. Upon leaving, the cashier gave each of us a strand of colorful glass beads for free. For me, it was confirmation that our energy was concentrated in the best direction for us to heal.

As I was reading the workbook, it caught me off balance that in the Jewish mystical tradition, they view letters as the building blocks of creation and the letter Aleph (Elif in Arabic) as “boundless light–uniformed and limitless, all potential and possibility..Aleph contains all the universe’s potential and all of its emptiness simultaneously. Aleph represents a dynamic [circular] process of movement from unity to diversity and back to unity.” Is there power in a name, in a letter, and does part of me resonate or recognize the importance of the mandala on another level than I previous thought of?

Our healing space complete, Mina and I sat down and made out mandalas. Instead of creating an intention before we drew, we chose to write words about the pictures after they were done. We thought we would let the pictures say their own story. Mina made 5 mandalas and wrote 3 poems.

After our morning doing Mandalas was done, Mina quietly closed her eyes, put her palms together, bowed to the candle, said “thank you” and blew it out. She was filled with such a strong energy after that and began to dance…My little Shaman brought some bird spirits into our home with her Eagle Bird Dance. I look forward to our next day doing Mandalas and what sorts of stories will emerge!

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