To see how this mandala was drawn, press Start.
Helix in Water Healing Mandala by Jamie St Clair
Čę Sublime Dezine. Made on black charcoal paper using Prisma Color pencils.
Mandala Healing Research from Colorpoint Institute, Carl Jung, Julia Cameron, Jamie St. Clair, Osho, Judith Cornell. Techniques used: journaling, mandala creation, visualization, drawing and coloring techniques, and active body based meditations Osho Kundalini and Dynamic meditations. Purchase the Draw and Color Mandalas Course Online here .
On the left is the Helix in Water Healing Mandala, one of the Luminous Mandalas from Jamie St Clair. Press start to see the steps in the making of this mandala. In this mandala we see seeming contradictory shapes: The straight edges and sharp corners of the triangles and square, set in the blue field of water, a soft, non linear material. The healing property in this mandala is the meeting of the linear and nonlinear, also interpreted as the meeting of the male and female. The male elements of the geometric shapes are floating, supported in the water, the two elements working together to form a unified whole.
Click on the "Play" button above to see exactly how to draw this mandala and color it.
Using black charcoal paper as described by Judith Cornell, we have made an effect of the mandala being luminescent, as if the light is coming from behind, or out of the mandala. The prisma color pencils are relatively soft, and blend particularly well with the charcoal paper. This effect is particularly helpful if using the mandala for healing. In the research by Jamie St Clair at Colorpoint Institute, the body based active meditations of Osho like Kundalini and Dynamnic are used in the process of healing with the mandala. This is where the method parts from previous research such as Judith Cornell's - it becomes a whole body experience, where the active release of blocks in the mind and body combine with the Jungian effects of the mandala. (more on Jung) This active involvement of the body/mind meditations along with the visualizations from the mandalas becomes a new avenue of discovery in the mandala healing field. The active Osho meditations act to open the psyche more deeply to the mandala process. They then feed each other. Combined with journaling to record the effects, the participant in the mandala drawing process comes to see his progress, as each block or resistance is met, and broken through, and each new level of the soul is revealed, and heard.
Mandalas are very personal things. Carl Gustav Jung, a psychiatrist and innovator in the realm of interpersonal psychology, wrote that a person making spontaneous circular drawings in a meditative state was tapping into his own source of being, his own center of SELF. Many people who have experimented with mandalas have had the experience of being either vaguely inspired by studying mandalas or very specifically encouraged in breaking through to new dimensions in their creativity and self understanding.
Click on the gallery image below to experience a mandala healing journey with Luminous Mandalas. Restful, regenerative, experience how these mandalas can heal.
Luminous Mandalas and mandala creation in particular, is a process of self reflection. Drawing can be challenging, but in mandala drawing there is nothing in particular to aspire to, it can be as simple as doodling. People's blocks around self consciousness are the first to be encountered in the drawing/creation process. But these blocks are already a beginning of the mirroring process mandalas can be.
Detail of charcoal paper/prisma color
pencil mandala coloring process.
The word mandala is Sanskrit for circle, polygon, community, connection. The Mandala is a symbol of man or woman in the world, a support for the meditating person. The mandala is often illustrated as a palace with four gates, facing the four corners of the Earth. Originally, they were religious devices which helped in meditation. For instance, in Tibetan Buddhism, a mandala is an imaginary palace that is contemplated during meditation. Each object in the palace has significance, representing some aspect of wisdom or reminding the meditator of some guiding principle. Tradition dictates which objects appear in the mandala and their size and placement within each mandala.
In the Americas, Indians have created medicine wheels and sand mandalas. The Aztec calendar (at right, click to enlarge) was both a time-keeping device and a religious expression of ancient Aztecs. In Asia, the Taoist "yin-yang" symbol is one of the most well known mandalas representing the complimentary qualities of opposition and interdependence. Labyrinths are a type of mandala found in many cultures and are used as a tool for centering. Mandalas seem to be cross cultural. In both the Navajo Indians and groups of Tibetan monks sand mandalas appear to demonstrate the impermanence of life in their spiritual practices. (more on sand mandalas)
The modern useage of the mandala comes largely from Carl Jung, a Swiss psychiatrist who worked with many patients in the middle part of the 20th century. He started with his own experience with drawing circles, or circular shapes and designs, and noticed they somehow corresponded to his inner situation, feelings, impressions, and thoughts. Further, he concluded after some study of the matter with his own drawings and also the drawings of his patients, whom he encouraged to also make their own mandalas, that these circular drawings were therapeutic, first to draw, then to look at.
Mandala means center in Sanskrit, the ancient Indian language. Other meanings include circumference, and magic circle. Jung finally arrived at the conclusion that the Self, the wholeness of the personality, is reflected in the mandala, or circular drawing. Jung felt also that the mandala that a person spontaneously drew in any given moment was a gentle reminder, or urge to live out that person's potential, something he called the person's total personality. He called this process individuation. He felt that attention to the symbols the unconscious gave in response to queries for deeper meaning could enhance and speed personal growth and understanding.
Jung wrote that the mandala points to a center of the personality, a central psychic point to which everything else is related, arranged, a sort of source for the being. Since everyone longs to fulfill their potential, to be all that they are meant to be in this life, seeing visually the center or source of their being or personality can be a very powerful and healing experience. In fact, according to Jung, a mandala can catalize an individual towards faster realization of their potential.
INDIVIDUATION: Jung believed that a human being is inwardly whole, but that most of us have lost touch with important parts of our selves. Through listening to the messages of our dreams and waking imagination, we can contact and reintegrate our different parts. The goal of life is individuation, the process of coming to know, giving expression to, and harmonizing the various components of the psyche. If we realize our uniqueness, we can undertake a process of individuation and tap into our true self. Each human being has a specific nature and calling which is uniquely his or her own, and unless these are fulfilled through a union of conscious and unconscious, the person can become sick.
Jung concluded that every person has a story, and when derangement occurs, it is because the personal story has been denied or rejected. Healing and integration comes when the person discovers or rediscovers his or her own personal story. Mandalas are a way to cut through the individual persona to the core or SOUL.
For Carl Jung the imagination has an important role to play in healing. It is through imagination that the bounds and constraints of the conscious mind which is limiting in it's nature, can be removed, and deeper cosmic resources can be brought to bear on issues, both psychological and physical.
Jung said this about active imagination:
"But active imagination, as the term denotes, means that the images have a life of their own and that the symbolic events develop according to their own logic - that is, of course, if your conscious reason does not interfere.... The symbol of the mandala has exactly this meaning of a holy place, a temenos, to protect the centre. And it is a symbol which is one of the most important motifs in the objectivation of unconscious images.....
"The suggestive influence of the picture reacts on the psychological system of the patient and induces the same effect which he put into the picture. That is the reason for idols, for the magic use of sacred images, of icons. They cast their magic into our system and put us right, provided we put ourselves into them. If you put yourself into the icon, the icon will speak to you. Take a lamaic mandala which has a Buddha in the centre, or a Shiva, and, to the extent that you can put yourself into it, it answers and comes into you. It has a magic effect. You begin by concentrating upon a starting point....
"When you concentrate on a mental picture, it begins to stir, the image becomes enriched by details, it moves and develops. Each time, naturally, you mistrust it and have the idea that you have just made it up, that it is merely you own invention. But you have to overcome that doubt, because it is not true.
"We can really produce precious little by our conscious mind. All the time we are dependent upon things that literally fall into our consciousness.... We depend entirely upon the benevolent co-operation of our unconscious."
As you can see from the quote above, the images Jung is talking about, particularly of the mandala, are not static images. They are a living expression of the unconscious. In modern psycho somatic body gestalt therapies, such as cranio sacral bodywork, the term UNWINDING has been coined to express the process of the unconscious becoming free of past trauma, and past ideas that are limiting. It is this freeing of the unconscious of the past that allows the individual to move into the present and heal.
Click to enlarge
In Japan there was a fascinating story of the Taima Mandara (Japanese pronounciation of "mandala?") which was discovered in the 1980s by a curator from a national museum looking for artworks for the central government. He found a beautiful 18th century painting of the Taima Mandara, but frayed around the edges. Inquiring as to why the painting tapestry was frayed, an old man came forward and produced this explanation:
In that town in the 1870s there was a plague which killed many people. The priest of the temple where the mandara lay had urged the villagers to come and pluck a thread off of the tapestry and eat it as a medicine. The painting was such a strong icon that it was believed to be able to cure physical illness.
Recorded in the Buddhist sutra, Muryojukyo, is an account of the origin of Amidaĺ─˘s Pure Land. The monk Dharmakara decided not to accept enlightenment unless he could make a blissful realm for all beings, as a reprieve from the suffering of this world. Below is one of his many vows:
"May I not gain possession of perfect awakening if, once I have attained buddhahood, any among the throng of living beings in the ten regions of the universe should single-mindedly desire to be reborn in my land with joy, with confidence, and gladness, and if they should bring to mind this aspiration for even ten moments of thought and yet not gain rebirth there. This excludes only those who have committed the five heinous sins and those who have reviled the True Dharma."
When Dharmakara did finally reach enlightenment, his wish was fulfilled and the Pure Land paradise was made as to harbor beings in their way to enlightenment.
This Pure Land is the one depicted in the Taima Mandara. Dharmakara, now the buddha Amida, lives in and advises those who enter the realm, according to Buddhist lore. The Muryojukyo, one of the three main Buddhist sutras this piece is based on, describes three types of believers: a ĺ─˙superior typeĺ─¨, an ĺ─˙intermediate typeĺ─¨, and an ĺ─˙inferior typeĺ─¨ who enter the Western Pure Land due to their desire and focus on Amida. Those of an ĺ─˙inferior typeĺ─¨ are greeted by Amida in a dream as they die, whereas those of an ĺ─˙intermediate typeĺ─¨ are greeted by an illusion of Amida and his holy retinue. The beings of a ĺ─˙superior typeĺ─¨ are greeted, in person, by Amida and his sacred followers at their death and are reborn into lotus flowers in the Pure Land. These scenes are depicted in the lower half of the tapestry.
The power attributed to this one piece of art is the very attribute that lifts it above pure art into the realm of healing and spirituality. Is it power inherent in the tapestry itself? Or is it the faith in the minds of the viewers which gives it such power? A chicken or the egg question, and ultimately one which doesn't really matter.
Did you find this information helpful? Feel free to make a donation to Sublime Dezine Studio so we can continue to create this art, and the information about it! Click on the button below and make a donation at PayPal to Sublime Dezine.