and I began my practice. I am not by any means an expert at meditating or mandalas. I am a seeker looking to find ways to become closer with God.
I carved out 15 minutes extra a day. Yes, that meant that I had to get up earlier, and if you know me, you know that giving up my sleep was a big sacrifice. And went into a different quiet room (My husband has a tendency to turn the tv on when he gets up. I do not find this conducive to meditating at all. Frankly, I even find it disruptive in the other room.). I have a blanket set up on the floor to raise my butt and make it easier for me to sit cross-legged. I place the book on a stool so that it is at my eye line. And for 15 minutes I focus on the mandala. I close by reading the segment explaining the mandala. I don't do this first so that I see what the mandala may erupt in me as opposed to recognizing what it is "supposed to say".
For those of you, who like me, may question the "Christian-ness" of such a practice. I have to say that I have found it to be what you make of it. I enter my meditation time which I would liken to prayer for me with God in my heart. I focus on the mandala asking God to speak to me through it to raise issues that I need to address. Sometimes I find the mandalas help me think about who I think God is more. Sometimes, they reflect more about me, who I am, and where I need to go. Also, Mandalas do have a history in Christianity which I will explore on another day.
The only problem that I have not yet resolved with this practice is time. I find myself too worried about it. As the 15 minutes early implies in 15 minutes I have to start getting ready for work, my mind is too focused on not going over time. I look forward to continuing this practice and somehow fully accepting my God time without parameters.
I will continue to give you a few more thought on meditating with mandalas over the next few weeks - like its Christian roots, a breathing mantra I find helpful, some ideas about designing one yourself. As always, I would love to hear any insights that you have found. If you don't use mandalas as a prayer practice now, I encourage you to experiment and see if you may find it useful.