Art Making, Mandala, Mindfulness, Self-Love / Self-Care

Mindfulness through Daily Mandala Practice

1361542566by Michelle Daly, LPCC, ATR

Cultivating mindfulness through mandala-making has been a gift and a teacher for me.

I begin each day with the creation of a mandala that evokes intention for the day, and I end each day creating a mandala image that incorporates expression of gratitude. This ongoing practice seems to enhance and deepen mindfulness. It is with an open heart and mind that I journey through each day, and in relation to this practice. I wonder what is to come, staying mindful and deeply grateful for the integrative ways this process touches my life. It is part of me; I am part of it. We are in relationship.

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This relationship assists me with conservation of internal focus and clarity while supporting openness and receptivity to that which is – day after day. I am grateful to all who have supported me in this process – and to those who have not. For, it is through this reflection that I deepen into inner wisdom and practice movement toward depth of center, expansion, and wholeness while also maintaining solid ground and stillness within. This is a practice that helps me to integrate that which comes into my field – moment to moment. This meditative practice has nurtured and nourished me in difficult times, helped me to gain clarity and understanding in the face of challenging, confusing and chaotic times while also allowing me to loosen up as I encounter rigid patterns, tense moments or situations.

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As I reflect upon this ongoing practice of daily self-care, currently a ritual to open and close each day, I appreciate the depth by which this mandala practice continues to serve me and supports me in serving others in a more authentic, centered present way.

Art Making, Mandala

A “CD Mandala” Adventure

by Laura L. Lansrud-López

A few months ago I came across this extraordinarily cool image of assorted CD Mandalas posted on Flickr by Mônica Chaves while perusing Pinterest (a favorite hangout of mine).

1361335482Many of us are likely familiar with using CD’s to create perfect-size circle templates for drawing and painting a mandala. These, however, appeared to be painted directly onto the CDs, capturing an iridescent effect. (You can see more images of Mônica’s CD’s here)

I was inspired to attempt it myself, but unable to locate directions or instructions on how to create this effect I thus decided to run an experiment and document the results.

First, I located some expendable CDs and gathered together black 3D fabric paint, left-over plastic stain from one of my 4-year-old daughter’s craft projects, a black sharpie.

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Initially I tried to draw the mandala freehand with the 3D fabric paint. That was a bit of a disaster, so I pulled out a ruler and created a template on a white paper surface.

This allowed provide some additional guidance and structure for the design.

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I attempted to draw the mandala outline directly on the CD with a thin sharpie. I imagine with practice and a steady hand this step may become unnecessary.

 

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Once the mandala was outlined in 3D fabric paint, I let it dry overnight.

 

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The next step was to color the mandala with my daughter’s plastic craft stain. An added bonus to this experiment was my daughter’s enthusiasm about painting with me. She insisted I include her painted ornaments in this picture:
(NOTE: you may want to consider purchasing higher quality glass stain as the viscosity of the stain in these small containers varies from clumpy to fluid. However, this may not bother a 4-year-old.)

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Voila! My first CD mandala:

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What I learned:
1) Practice will likely improve my skill and develop avenues for greater creative expression,
2) Never underestimate the value of using quality materials,
3) The joy of making art side-by-side with my daughter was championed only by my joy in watching her enchantment and wonder of casting “rainbows” with the CD Mandala.

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