by Michelle Daly, LPCC, ATR
Cultivating mindfulness through mandala-making has been a gift and a teacher for me.
I begin each day with the creation of a mandala that evokes intention for the day, and I end each day creating a mandala image that incorporates expression of gratitude. This ongoing practice seems to enhance and deepen mindfulness. It is with an open heart and mind that I journey through each day, and in relation to this practice. I wonder what is to come, staying mindful and deeply grateful for the integrative ways this process touches my life. It is part of me; I am part of it. We are in relationship.
This relationship assists me with conservation of internal focus and clarity while supporting openness and receptivity to that which is – day after day. I am grateful to all who have supported me in this process – and to those who have not. For, it is through this reflection that I deepen into inner wisdom and practice movement toward depth of center, expansion, and wholeness while also maintaining solid ground and stillness within. This is a practice that helps me to integrate that which comes into my field – moment to moment. This meditative practice has nurtured and nourished me in difficult times, helped me to gain clarity and understanding in the face of challenging, confusing and chaotic times while also allowing me to loosen up as I encounter rigid patterns, tense moments or situations.
As I reflect upon this ongoing practice of daily self-care, currently a ritual to open and close each day, I appreciate the depth by which this mandala practice continues to serve me and supports me in serving others in a more authentic, centered present way.
by Laura L. Lansrud-López
A few months ago I came across this extraordinarily cool image of assorted CD Mandalas posted on Flickr by Mônica Chaves while perusing Pinterest (a favorite hangout of mine).
First, I located some expendable CDs and gathered together black 3D fabric paint, left-over plastic stain from one of my 4-year-old daughter’s craft projects, a black sharpie.
Initially I tried to draw the mandala freehand with the 3D fabric paint. That was a bit of a disaster, so I pulled out a ruler and created a template on a white paper surface.
This allowed provide some additional guidance and structure for the design.
Voila! My first CD mandala:
What I learned:
1) Practice will likely improve my skill and develop avenues for greater creative expression,
2) Never underestimate the value of using quality materials,
3) The joy of making art side-by-side with my daughter was championed only by my joy in watching her enchantment and wonder of casting “rainbows” with the CD Mandala.
First, were invited to make art to the sound of enchanting acoustic music while focusing on a moment of inspiration.
Next we were guided through a reflective body-awareness meditation while hold in mind our newly created images.
The afternoon culminated in an action-method series of body-sculptures (or “single-scene tableau”), each created in response to a participant’s “moment of inspiration” as revealed through the art making and meditation.
In silence, participants told the stories of “Rebirth,” “Wings taking Flight,” “Strength and Determination,” and “Arriving Home.”
The themes of dynamic new energy, emerging hope, creating community, and embracing inclusion were palpable in the room, and will be carried forward as NMATA reclaims its valuable role in advancing creative expression as a vehicle for life enhancement and healing across New Mexico.
Naja Druva, second year counseling student at Southwestern College, led a remarkable workshop weaving together the history and myths of spinning, recycling, transformation, body awareness, and the "crude simplicity" of creating within a community with a wheel and a shaft. Participants brought old clothing and fabric, and related stories of the material's journey and their personal experiences with fabric within their family. Many of us had watched our mothers and grandmothers make rag rugs, sew clothing, and have a relationship with material.
We were reminded to appreciate where we started, as the material we brought would never be the same, and to notice our experience of deconstructing and recreating.
As everyone cut their material, conversations about cooking, relationships, family, and life bubbled up around the room between old friends and new acquaintances. As we spun our new yarn, some women stood while others sat, and there was a sense of a calm ease among the members... We have been here before, generations of women creating something new out of something old, together.
New Mexico Art Therapy Blog
The NMATA blog regularly posts contributions from our board of directors, members, and friends. We frequently post images we have created individually or in workshops, but do not publish client artwork.