WHAT IS A MANDALA
by Leanne Schmidt
A PERSONAL MANDALA JOURNEY
by Gabby van Heerden
WHAT IS A MANDALA? Mandala is a Sanskrit word meaning circle. The basic form of most mandalas is a square with four gates containing a circle with a centre point. In Tibet it translates as centres and surroundings; coming in from different paths a vehicle to explore that what is beyond the physical, an encyclopaedia of the finite and a map to the infinite.
Mandala’s can also be seen in many religious traditions from Buddhism to Christianity. In the 12th century, a Christian nun created many beautiful mandalas to express her visions and beliefs. Both Navajo Indians and Tibetan monks create sand mandalas to demonstrate the impermanence of life.
The Mandala is more than a visual image that is seen with the eyes. It absorbs the mind to cease thought therefore accessing the power of the right hemisphere, allowing access to infinite knowledge of the higher self, or sub conscious mind and sub thought leading to a higher awareness.
It represents the wholeness, a cosmic diagram that reminds us of the world that extends both beyond and within our bodies and minds.
Like everything in this universe each mandala has a certain vibration or frequency created by the shapes, colours and intentions of the specific Mandala.
Just by looking at a Mandala or having it in the room can change the vibration or feeling of the people in the room.
Mandala and meditation.
Using a Mandala in meditation can be very powerful; it can be used for the purpose of gaining knowledge, or connecting with the knowledge that resides within each of us.
Before meditating, first set an intention on a Mandala that appeals to you, or suits your purpose. Normally, you select a mandala that appeals to you; or sometimes using a Mandala that you know the meaning of helps to set an intention for your focus.
Sit in a quiet place and tune in to the shapes and colours let the design take your attention.
Take a few deep breaths and let any thoughts just float by like clouds dissipating in the sun. Just let go and relax and see where it takes you.
For Gabby van Heerden creating a Mandala is more than just a passion, it’s a purpose! After reading her Mandala Journey below you will understand. She is an experienced Art Teacher and also gives Art workshop and Retreats.
She creates Mandala‘s that can be used as a window sticker.
To view Gabby’s Gallery check out her website!
Join one of her Creative retreats; it’s for sure a great way to spend a weekend.
Why create your own mandala?
“For the same reason family crests were designed for hundreds of years. Same reason tartans are made a very specific way. Same reason each country has a flag. From signet rings, to watermarks, and stone carvings – it’s all about unique identification.” -Avia
Please read below: Gabby’s personal Mandala journey…. Enjoy!
A PERSONAL MANDALA JOURNEY
by Gabby van Heerden
I first discovered mandalas when I studied art teaching. At that time it felt like something that I remembered doing but as I hadn’t really started my spiritual journey, I didn’t understand what that meant.
I have always love pattern, colour and design. If I talk on the phone or am in a meeting, the piece of paper that I have will be covered with doodled patterns and designs, often in the form of radiating patterns or mandalas.
Over the years I have taught hundreds of children the beautiful symmetry of the mandala and as I watched them create their unique and wonderful designs, an inner understanding of the mandala started to grow within me.
As I started on my spiritual journey and I began to explore my psychic abilities, I realised that I work very strongly with symbolic sight. I visualise easily, I have many and vivid dreams and I see pictures rather than hear words. I then discovered that it was easier for me to draw what I was seeing and perceiving than giving the information verbally. As I discovered that, I began to understand the power and the beauty of the mandala as a non-verbal form of communication. I found that I was developing in other areas that required non-verbal communication as I connected with and was able to communicate with animals, birds and insects. I began to take note of the symbolic significance of the creatures that crossed my path and had a message for me. The more I was able to work symbolically and understand the symbolism in my life, the more I began to understand my mandala creations.
I began to draw and draw mandalas, all the time, whenever I wanted to work through something or create something in my life. They became a powerful form of meditation in my life. I have never been able to sit still for long so being able to focus and quiet my mind through working symbolically and physically with my hand was an ideal technique for me.
I watched both children and adults work with the mandala. I noticed that they became quiet and focused. It was almost as if their bodies heaved a sigh of relief and went into this calm, peaceful, timeless space. It was about connecting with the right hemisphere of the brain but also went way beyond that into a space of knowing, silence and positive intent.
I started focussing on how I felt when I was drawing and painting and I realised that it was probably the time when my body felt most content and when I was most balanced and centred.
Whenever I look at people (it works for plants and animals too) I can see a three-dimensional mandala design in the form of a ball of energy. I then transfer it to a two-dimensional design in pen and add colour with gouache. It is an incredible experience that brings as much healing and balance to me as the mandala will bring to the person that I am doing it for.
After a while I realised that I could create both Soul mandalas – a unique perspective of someone’s soul energy in that moment – and healing mandalas which contain the energy of perfect health for that person. Mandalas always focus on the positive, on what you want to create, rather than the issue that you have.
When I paint I feel totally at peace and in flow. I fall in love with every mandala that I create. I love the vibrancy, the jewel-like colours, the patterns and the perfect way that everything fits together (all is well in the world). I am in awe of the creative energy that I work with that allows every tiny detail to flow perfectly and with such elegance. I feel filled with energy, vitality and joy. It is a perfect way for me to shift my thoughts from what I don’t’ want to what I do want. When I paint for myself, it feels like a slide show, as one design is finished the next one slots into place. The designs are never-ending and always full of passion and vitality. It is a truly powerful, honest experience.
As I came to understand the mandala in greater depth and my fascination with it deepened, I began to realise that each mandala that I had painted, held a concept or word. As soon as I realised why I had such a large collection of designs, I began to channel the words and concepts that each one held. I know that I need to share these designs with the world. That this is something that is beyond me, that is working through and with me. It is absolutely and firstly about my own healing and inner understanding but is also a beautiful, elegant energy to share with the planet and those sharing the space with her. I believe that creativity is a direct connection to the Divine. I have received so much from creating these amazing designs that it is now time to take them beyond myself and share them with the planet.