Mandalas are most recognized as the intricate, sand paintings created by Tibetan Monks.
These mandalas take weeks or even months to make, one grain of colored sand at a time.
The design is full of the symbolism of enlightenment and the making of it is a practice of meditation in motion and non-attachment.
Once the completion ceremony is over, the sand is swept into a bowl and released on a river or other body of water as everything is impermanent and we suffer when we hold on too long.
The word Mandala simply means circle in the ancient language of Sanskrit and is pronounced MUN.del.a .
The mandala symbolizes completion, wholeness, unity, harmony, enlightenment, Oneness, depending on who makes it and why.
Every color , shape and line is symbolic and holds meaning.
Carl Jung brought the mandala from the east to the west recognizing that the making of it is therapeutic and draws on the subconscious, bringing forth a wealth of information. Every mandala has meaning. He made many mandalas himself.
Mandalas are made by every culture. Some examples are Spanish cloisters, European rose windows, Aztec sun dials, African baskets and vessels, Native American Medicine Wheels, French Labyrinths, Celtic Knot Work, The Chinese Yin Yang, and Islamic Mosques.
People have lived in igloos, tepees and huts and danced around fires in ceremony.
Our sundials have given way to clocks and our coins to paper that still has a mandala printed on it. We wear mandala jewelry and sit at round tables. We like Mandalas.
Mandalas originated in nature.
Nature is a mandala from every seed, egg and pebble to the ripples on a pond and the cycle of the seasons.
Mandalas are too small to see as in molecules and atoms and as infinite as the stars, planets and galaxies.
Every creature is a mandala.
Every plant is a mandala.
All of life is a mandala.
Every cycle, even life, death, life is a mandala.
The mandala teaches us that all is Whole, Holy and Sacred, in perfect harmony with all that is.
A mandala by its very nature is infinite and complete. We, ourselves, are perfect mandalas in every way. We grow physically, mentally and spiritually, always expanding and radiating and at the same time we are Whole, Holy and complete.
We are nature and we are life.
The mandala takes us inside when we make one and when we meditate on one we can expand beyond ourselves.
Each of us interprets a mandala uniquely through our own perception and experience.
A mandala can reveal to you your soul.
To understand a mandala is to understand ourselves. The more we understand ourselves, the more of ourselves we can share with the world.
The making of a mandala is a moving meditation which centers us in the present where Life and Source actually exist.
Meditation on a mandala quiets the wandering mind and brings us back to the beauty of who we are and our inherent connection to all that is.
Making a mandala reveals the subconscious in a visual snapshot of who we are in the moment and what we need to know.
I will create a playshop just for you and your friends on a date that works for you or occasionally I offer a playshop in my studio or at another venue. If you would like to know when and where, or would like more information please sign up or drop me a line.
Mandala playshops are a unique experience offered by coach, educator and artist Susan Loraine Barker. Susan draws on her years of making and teaching the art of the mandala to create a fusion of play, moving meditation and the healing affirmation of self-discovery in this 2 hour respite from the world and your inner noise.
The playshop includes a brief history of the mandala, music, the powerful meditative experience of creating your own unique, sacred circle and the interpretation of your personal message. Drawing skills are in no way needed or required. We are all creative beings. Trust in your ability to play.
A playshop always let's you know what you need to know at the time and it can also have a central focus such as:
Love Your Body Playshop:
This mandala playshop is about more than body acceptance, it is about falling in love with your magnificent body, which results in honoring and trusting in the miracles inherent in this vessel that allows you to experience life.
Health & Wellness Playshop:
This mandala playshop focuses on the body's incredible ability to heal itself and tuning into what it is telling you, resulting in the ability to work with your body rather than fight it.
Your Sun Sign Playshop
This mandala playshop draws on your particular traits to remind you who you are and how you best navigate your world.
Vision Board Playshop
Creating a vision board is a creative process of imagining, listening and allowing. It brings clarity to what is calling you, what you need more of, what you need less of and what you want to experience next. The creative process is enlightening and the result gives you a visual map of where you want to go and what you want to choose on a daily basis to get there. This playshop runs 3-4 hours.
Susan offers public and private playshops for you and your friends or family in her studio or your home. You can book a private playshop for your book club, Mom's night out, spiritual group, couples group, church, retreat or conference.
" I have attended 5 mandala playshops facilitated by Susan, and enjoyed each one. Besides being a talented artist, Susan is an excellent teacher and knows her subject well.
An unexpected benefit of the playshops is how I feel after I've completed my mandala. My mind is quiet. The mental chatter is no longer there. Peace was the last thing I expected from the playshop, but it is a lovely gift.
I don't consider myself an artist.
Drawing was something I enjoyed as a child, but gave up because I didn't think I was good enough. The playshops have been an opportunity to express myself in a fun way. It's a chance to play...and learn something about myself as well."
~ Barb Ogareck
" You are so gifted! My evening last night was beyond anything I thought it would be. I felt energized yet extremely peaceful at the same time. I was quite surprised by the amount of insight my mandala gave me. I, who think I am so in tune to my feelings, created a new understanding and awakening to hat was going on with me. Thank you so much for that gift. I look forward to more of these for new insights into my life!" ~ Mary Ellen Scanlin
"I attended Susan's Mandala Playshop at a very precarious time in my life.
My nephew had been murdered a week earlier. I struggled with the meaning of his death...the violence of it. And with the anger...in that the killers had not yet been found. Our family was reeling in emotion and needing a sense of closure.
Susan took me through a meditation visualization and then set me free to create while soulful music filled the studio.
I let myself disappear into the moment and allowed my instinct and intuition guide the chalk onto the paper. My mind was empty for the time being and I was grateful.
Upon completing a color rich mandala, Susan worked magic with her coaching. She guided me through uncovering meaning for shapes, design and colors. I was free to make it mean what I felt was right. Susan invited me to share if wanted.
What i found was a peaceful understanding that life does not always make sense. I titled my mandala "Unwritten" as I discovered an acceptance and forgiveness to my nephew's death...something that seemed without sense or reason.
It is interesting how the unconscious mind will work to put together seemingly unrelated experiences into something that is healing and completing.
I definitely recommend Susan's Mandala Playshop to anyone looking for a creative and unusual experience to help heal and break through a resistance that may be present in life.
Thank you Susan." ~ Wendy Roob
"I am the co-organizer of an annual women's retreat called Abundia, www.abundia.org. Susan presented a mandala playshop at our retreat with around 25 attendees participating. The feedback was overwhelmingly positive both for the activity itself and for Susan's facilitation. Comments on the evaluations included: "Mandalas rock!","Can we have this workshop every year?", "It was wonderful and insightful for me.", "What an amazing tool!", "Susan asked such insightful questions", and "Loved it!"
Susan has a wonderful presence and through her playshops, gives each participant the gift of creativity, color, introspection and growth."
~ Leeann Enright, President, Abundia, Inc.