Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Mandala Making Workshop

Yesterday, I joined the reverend of my Church here in Ottawa, to lead a mandala workshop at a woman's shelter downtown. We both didn't quite know what to expect. The shelter had recently burned down and the women were staying in a secondary building downtown. It was also Linda's first time visiting in her new capacity as Chaplain.

The women however, were super eager to do art. In fact, they all showed up early, and I had to cut my little intro on mandalas in half. They grabed the pencils and got started. In a few moments, with some nice music playing, everyone was captivated in the making of their mandala. Myself and Linda included! We worked on black paper with bright pastels-- a symbol of light coming from the darkness. It also tends to look pretty cool. Most ended up making two mandalas!

Afterwards, we went in a circle sharing what we saw in each other's mandalas. Mandalas have an uncanny tendency to be a way for one's soul to speak to oneself. I love it! And so did the women. We all gained new insights through the process.

I am looking forward to leading more such workshops. Especially in Paris. Mandala making is a powerful process for self discovery and in this way, healing. I am also very intrigued with the idea of leading co-created mandalas. I did this back in Smithers with groups of four and two students creating a single mandala together. It is a powerful process of harmoniously working together. To lead couples through this process would be very interesting.

That's my mandala up above. It is actually inspired by a little native girl's mandala back at that same school in Smithers.

One lady said it looked like the earth. Another like lots of people being activated. The last said she saw love and rebirth in it.


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