Creating Mandalas

Circles have long been used as a healing form whether as a figure drawn on paper, in the sand or as a format for being together in a group. In Aboriginal cultures, medicine men would often have the patient lie in a circle created upon the ground or in a covered structure as they performed their healing techniques. Afterward, the drawn figure would be erased indicting that the malady was now forever erased. Cave art is often depicted as a drawing in a circle. Tibetan Buddhist monks, have been bringing their beautiful sand mandalas to art galleries in the west, transporting small bags of coloured sand to produce these fragile works of art.

Famous Swiss psychiatrist as Carl Gustav Jung, discovered the beneficial use of the Sacred Circles, termed Mandalas, meaning sacred circle in Sanskrit, as he spontaneously began drawing them daily as part of his journal entries. He quickly realized the benefits of this practice and used this Mandala drawing with his patients as a healing component of their treatment.

Bernie Seigel, oncologist, and author of Love, Medicine and Miracles worked the Exceptional Cancer Patients who, in spite of negative prognosis, survived in many cases much longer that their oncologists had predicted. He worked with this special group of patients using this circular art form. During the time of their therapy, Bernie discovered that expressing within the circular drawing seemed to assist this group of patients in expressing deeply held emotions that permitted them to accept the future without the usual anguish and dread. Often their lives were much more fulfilled and peaceful than would otherwise have been the case.

In fact, others have discovered the innate need and skill to create these beautiful circle images while dealing with deep grief. Others have found this process spontaneously emerging while in deep depression and while the intricate creation of a large piece of art within the circle was created, the depression slowly changed and then lifted.

Many of the mandalas we see as works of art are symmetrical creations, however, when we use this art form as a healing mechanism, spontaneity will dictate the shape, colour, and style of the creation. Each creation is perfect at the moment of creation and will provide rich input to our healing process as a work of art for the future. During this workshop we will be experimenting with the use of various drawing media, music and meditations.

During this 6-week workshop, we will discover how our creativity is innate and by simply waiting for the appropriate opportunity to be presented we create an image as a personal symbol that reveals who we are at that moment. The circle we draw contains–even invites—conflicting parts of our nature to appear. Yet even when conflict surfaces, there is an undeniable release of tension when making a mandala. We will learn how to work with mandalas as a healing tool to be incorporated into our daily life as an enduring process of healing. During the workshop emphasis will be placed on the spontaneity however sharing feelings, reactions and analysis will be encouraged.