Artist's Prayer


Give us Your daily Inspiration
So, we can live a Creative Life.
And lead us away from self-doubt,
For to doubt our creativity
Is to doubt Your Voice within us.
Amen.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Mandala.... Universal Symbol of Wholeness

... as yet untitled...
Mixed Media on Paper
16x20

The research on my masters' thesis becomes more tedious with each passing day, yet also immensely enriching. After months of false~starts, finally I'm moving my feet, or actually my eye balls across the pages and my hand over countless sheets of paper while taking copious notes.... The subject matter is ~ Mandala As a Universal Symbol of Wholeness~ interestingly enough it gives me an opportunity to combine the two favorite areas of self-expression (art and spirituality) by marveling at the depth and intricacies of the mandalas' iconography and symbology from a perspective of visual arts. Additionally, mandalas of the world have been created since the times of prehistoric caves in every culture on Earth as means of providing a visual 'map' for an individual to find the way back to the Center within. Mandala is an archetypal path to wholeness, or more specifically, to realization, or remembrance of our wholeness be it from a psychological standpoint ~ integration of the psyche, an encounter with one's unconscious by establishing and promoting an active dialog between these to distinct entities, as a necessary means to a lasting sense of inner balance. From a spiritual perspective, mandalas (meaning 'circle' in Sanskrit) have been created by Native American Shamans, Tantric Tibetan Buddhists, and spiritual adepts in India for the millenniums. These 'curiously' looking circles, often depict a quiet gruesome imagery symbolizing the 'inner demons' every individual must conquer before reaching a lasting realization of complete wholeness and oneness with All that Is ~ AKA~ enlightenment. Mandalas find they shape imprinted in the micro- and macrocosm ~ from a circular shape of one's eyes' pupils and atoms as building blocks of all physical forms, to the circular orbits and shapes of planets and galaxies....

Drawing and painting mandalas provide a 'container' for emptying ourselves out, ideally done in a spontaneous, no~linear manner. There's no 'magic' or any type of 'specialness' to making mandalas and they are not considered as objects of worship. Being symbolic, mandala could be likened to a symbolic reminder, or a guide posts depicting a 'way back home'....within. In modern psychotherapy mandalas are often encourage to be drawn or painted by patients exhibiting a wide range of maladaptive behaviors, from addictions to A(H)DD, borderline personality disorders and schizophrenia, not to mention their groundbreaking role in art therapy. In the early XX-ieth century Swiss psychiatrist, Carl Jung, begun a consistent practice of drawing a mandala every single day and later decided to implement this method as a mode of therapeutic approach with his patients with great success. His findings has been well documented and adapted in various modes of psychological healing.

If you're not snoring yet, there's only one thing be added, regardless of their specific application, they're fun to draw or paint, there's something very grounding and internally soothing when you let the images come to life inside a circle... recently one of my favorite bloggers posted some fun images of mandalas called 'Zendalas', check it out....

4 comments:

  1. A wonderful lesson in mandalas, Tatiana. We have been doing some in an art class I attend, off and on, but never knew that much about them. You make it interesting. Your piece here is beautiful. Love the buildings below too! Love old buildings, windows, fire escapes, etc. Very interesting. ...and thanks for your great comment on my blog - means a lot to me.

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  2. I'm not snoring, but rather inspired. Must be time to create a mandala and center myself. Thanks!

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  4. funny that we stop on on your work here... great read and love hearing about this all. can't wait to see more.

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