Saturday, February 25, 2012

Coloring Mandalas

I have found that the idea of mandalas had been circling my soul.  What I mean by that is that I had never heard of them and then suddenly they seemed to be incorporated everywhere around me: on the news, in fiction books I was reading,  in my seminary work, in conversation.  I decided that I should learn more.  Thus, I found Meditating with Mandalas: 52 New Mandalas to Help You Grow in Peace and Awareness.

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. 

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