Rudiger Dahlke, in his book, Mandalas of the World tells us to rediscover as your own the forms and symbols that we come across on this
journey will be easier and easier in time, because these structures are universal. They don’t belong to anyone and they jointly belong to
everybody. They are the basic elements of creation, part of everything and at the same time also the Whole. He continues to say no matter
how far modern research advances, they find only the same basic patterns that we already find in ourselves. As above so below – as on the
outside so on the inside. We cannot avoid this timeless law as we explore the mandala and it will be, above all, our own experience that we will
be concerned with. In fact, it is actually difficult to become absorbed in a mandala and remain unaffected by it. It is equally difficult to look at
a rose window of a Gothic cathedral without being touched by it. It is almost impossible to create mandalas without being moved inwardly.
The mandala is movement -a wheel of life – the image of the universe, constantly emerging from the one centre, striving towards the outside
and at the same time converging out of the diversity to the one centre. Every person recognizes this basic pattern, because it is carried within
the Self. So we take the task that comes towards us, really just as they come, without judging them.
I was speaking with a teacher-friend of mine who has taken mandala and dream workshops from the FCJ Christian Life Centre in Calgary, AB where Sister Eta, a Catholic
nun and Jungian analyst, teaches. My friend is enthralled with mandalas. She teaches special education students and has them draw their own mandalas. She believes it is
helping them to stay calm and focus on their work. She just came back from a week in France where she visited the Notre Dame churches and was in awe at the true
mandalas at the prime of the Gothic.
It seems that I am seeing or hearing about mandalas more than once this week. They seem to be showing up in my conversations. I had brunch with my nieces and they
were showing a picture of a tattoo they were impressed with. One was planning on getting a tattoo and was having an artist draw it for her. She was enamored with this
picture of the tattoo. Of course the picture was a mandala!
I am still working on my mandala and have had some experiences or should I say obstacles with it. The process of drawing your own mandala is not as easy as I first
thought. You have to abandon the chatter of your mind, the planning, the intellectualizing, the criticizing and allow yourself to fall under “the spell” of creating a mandala. I
have found that the best way to get out of your own way is to draw or doodle mandalas until the mind gets bored and then it just seems to flow. Allow yourselves to play and
work from the centre and beyond. Let go and have fun and enjoy the journey.