Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Oh the Mandala.....

Native Mandala

It's a meditation you know. Anyone can do this- even those with little to no artistic experience because it's not about creating art. Any art that is created upon completion is incidental to the feeling of release that you will experience while getting lost in the mandala process.

Many people bottle their emotions and have nowhere to release it. Unexpressed emotion will only lead to misery and dis-ease. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow - but it will eventually cause problems that could be relieved if you could only find a creative outlet in which to express yourself.

To create a mandala, you must fist release all judgments about your ability to aesthetically put pen to paper. Throw those thoughts out the window because no one has to ever see it but you, (unless you choose to share it) and it's totally your prerogative to destroy it once completed.

It's a good idea to try this in a safe, quiet environment, (soft pleasing music is fine) because you want to be able to work on it until you are finished. Once you get used to the "meditation" of the mandala, you will probably find that you will be doodling them anywhere, on the bus, train, Dr's offices...anywhere you have a few spare moments and can whip out a pad and pen.

The type of paper is unimportant, as is the pen/crayon/pencil/marker you choose to do it with. Just select a n implement that regularly feels good in your hand. You can always try other forms of media at a later time. For now, it's all about comfort.

To draw a mandala, start at the center, which is in essence, your core. Start with a dot, a circle, a cross, any symmetrical shape that you can work around in a circle. What you are going to do after making your first mark, is to make another mark, a small mark or pattern that can be repeated in a concentric pattern around the center. After that, make another mark and continue in another concentric circle, repeating layer after layer. Make it as big as you want, as detailed as you want, the only thing is that you just stay mindful of the marks you are making. (don't allow yourself to become distracted, and if you do, gently bring your mind back into focusing on what you are doing) None of the marks need be perfect, ever. They just need to be.

Remember to keep from judging yourself on the choices you are making for the design, the straightness of your lines, or roundness of your circles. Just stay with the pattern and keep moving round the circle.

If you enjoy the mandala process as I do, eventually you will build up a library of shapes, patterns and designs that will easily come to mind. If you get stuck, just think of basic shapes, circles, triangles, or even letters of the alphabet. V's M'and T's are good. Whatever works.

There's a certain flow that starts to develop and I often feel compelled to take a mandala to a certain point and it almost always seems to let me know once I'm finished. Sometimes I sit down to create one when I'm absolutely furious with emotion and within 30-45 minutes, I don't even remember what I was upset about.

So go ahead. Try it out. Draw a mandala. I'd love to hear how it made you feel.

7 comments:

thethirdrat said...

I think you should be called Busy Beans.

zquilts said...

Another winner! I like it! What journal was this one that you used? Looks like it held up to the wash fairly well

Biffybeans said...

3rd Rat - No doubt!

zQuilts - good catch. it's a Venezia Journal by Fabriano. I haven't reviewed it online yet. ;o)And thanks for the compliment!

arpitk said...

Your mandalas are absolutely beautiful. Have you ever tried to decipher what the Self is trying to say back to you through those mandalas? I recently started my mandala journey (pretty rudimentary ones using plain crayons) but the journey has been fascinating, specially in figuring out the meaning of a mandala.

Biffybeans said...

Thank you Arpitk! Yes, I do try to see what they are telling me, though I don't do that with every one - some definitely show more significance than others. I always seem to be surrounded by people, but not in an egotistical way. I like very much to help people, to inspire - I do my best to serve - through my art, my writing, and my music.

Crayons are wonderful. I tell people when they start making mandalas, that they need to use any implement that feels good in their hands. You want the best experience possible for letting it all flow...

doforanimals said...

Really enjoying your mandalas. They are beautiful! I've been playing around with some of my own but they look a bit lopsided. I guess they'll improve with practice. Thanks for sharing your art and info.

Biffybeans said...

Doforanimals - a few tips to help straighten them... One: Spin the paper as you work. Two: Make lots. Quality will improve. Three: Forget quality & just have fun!

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