5/4/2017 2 Comments
Taking time out to nourish our minds and our spirits is now more important than ever. Today, personally, I have had a day of it; between a sick child, work issues in a job that increasingly does not feel like a fit for me. Then there are family obligations and an ever increasing to do list as well as noisy road works outside the house...I began to worry. The inner voice began to pipe up in a big way, telling me of all the things that would go wrong if I left my stable job. How I am not a good mother. How I couldn't possibly make a living doing what I love. How I wasn't good enough to do it. Blah. Blah. A big huge knot had formed in my stomach.
I caught the voice. I took some time out to meditate and to draw a small mandala in my journal and things began to calm a little. I will continue on a larger piece this evening for sure. I realised that the problems that the voice in my head was creating are not actual problems. They're just things that haven't happened yet, things that could happen tomorrow or next week. I have a job. I have a pay check. What I in fact need to do is to become still and to gather information in order to make an informed decision on my future. I realised that the roadworks are outside of my control and will finish soon. That I am in fact doing the best I can in mothering my child and feeling guilty for taking time off work to mind her is in fact a waste of time.
Through mandala art and meditation, it is possible for that voice inside your head to suddenly stop. You realize, "Wow, it's so beautifully quiet". This is exactly what you need to make effective choices. You need to be present. You need to be free of anything other than what is happening now. Today, I floundered. And I will flounder again and again. But I have a skill to help me return to my still point. A point where I can make sense of the world and a point where I can put a halt to the oft irrational voice that goes on inside my head. And I know it is not just me. We all have this to some extent, it increases and decreases in volume at different times. If mandalas can help me, they can help you too.
I regularly give full day mandala workshops to share a little of the experience with others. Let me tell you a little of what to expect on the full day workshop. I initially give a short presentation on mandala and how I came to create them. We look briefly at the history and philosophy behind mandala which is fascinating. We then undertake a short guided meditation where we can really get in touch with our mind and bodies to see where we might be holding tension or dis-ease within our bodies and energy centres.
I then guide the group on creating their own mandala from scratch. We work in silence i.e. no talking, but I do ramp up the music which is carefully chosen to bring you on an internal journey. The journey can bring you deep, and often things can come up into awareness from the subconscious realms. This means that we can bring awareness to them and begin to heal them. The creation phase lasts about three hours with a break for lunch in between.
Towards the end of the day, I will guide you on a deep Yoga Nidra practice, a lying down mediation which is utterly relaxing. It lasts about forty minutes. You drift in and out of consciousness during it and it really seeds the inner work that you have done with your mandala during the day. After the deep meditation, we have a share group where you are welcome to share your experiences of the day with the group in a safe environment. There is absolutely no obligation to share if you would rather not.
"After drawing my circles with the compass, I relaxed into a meditative, quiet space and let my hand be guided into creating shapes and choosing the colours. In this stillness, questions, insights arose from a deep place, reminding me of what my heart and soul is really seeking. Since that day, whenever I now look at my Mandala, I am taken back to that place of stillness and centredness. Thank you Patricia for creating that space." Noreen O'Donoghoe, participant at Mandala Workshop at The October Gallery London
It is always a lovely day, and I look forward to hosting and holding the space each and every time. There is no need to be artistic to create or engage with mandala, they are within each and every one of us. The next workshop will be happening in Aras Chronain in Clondalkin, Dublin on Saturday September 23rd. Why not give it a try?