I woke up this morning thinking of mandalas. I’ve been working with mandalas for the past few years, but lately they’ve become a big part of my life. I don’t just color them, I design them with things such as leaves, rocks, shells or just about anything I can get my hands on.
I woke up contemplating my existence and my connection to this world. Ever since I was a small child I have contemplated this. I have many memories of myself contemplating life, but one memory that sticks out today is me at the circus when I was very small. I sat there watching the circus and all the people and animals performing when suddenly I began to rub my eyes. I remember rubbing them so hard that I began to see the same shapes as the kaleidoscope that I was holding in my hand at the circus. I became fascinated at the swirls, colors and shapes that I was creating with my own eyes.
As I’ve grown I’ve continued to appreciate shapes, but especially geometric shapes. They represent more than the eye can see. They are spiritual and purposeful just like a mandala.
I love this quote below by Pema Chodron.
Life is like a mandala.
“Each person’s life is like a mandala- a vast, limitless circle. We stand in the center of our own circle, and everything we see, hear and think forms the mandala of our life. We enter a room, and the room is our mandala. We get on the subway, and the subway car is our mandala, down to the teenager checking messages on her iPhone and the homeless man slumped in the corner. We go for a hike in the mountains, and everything as far as we can see is our mandala: the clouds, the trees, the snow on the peeks, even the rattlesnake coiled in the corner. We’re lying in a hospital bed, and the hospital is our mandala. We don’t set it up, we don’t get to choose what or who shows up in it. It is, As Chogyam Trungpa said, “the mandala that is never arranged but is always complete.” And we embrace it just as it is.
Everything that shows up in your mandala is a vehicle for your awakening. From this point of view, awakening is right at your fingertips continually. There’s not a drop of rain or a pile of dog poop that appears in your life that isn’t the manifestation of enlightened energy, that isn’t a doorway to sacred world. But it’s up to you whether your life is a mandala of neurosis or a mandala of sanity.”
(From Pema’s newest book, Living Beautifully with Uncertainty and Change)
Image colored by Mary Breath