We are excited to be offering several classes in which we create mandalas as we paint pottery. Mandala is a Sanskrit word that loosely translates to mean “circle” or “center.” Mandalas most often drawn as a circular design with repeating colors, shapes and patterns radiating out from the center. Creating a mandala is about more than just the beautiful piece of art you own at the end, it’s about the process of creating it, and the fact that it is a healing art. And that’s actually the origination of the mandala.
Although the word mandala is Sanskrit, and most people associate it with Eastern religion, the fact is that the mandala is something that shows up in many cultures, religions and regions. Mandalas are reflected in Tibetan Buddhist art, Navajo sand paintings, the Chinese yin and yang symbol, the stained glass rose windows in Christian churches, Native American dream catchers and medicine wheels, Mayan calendars, and Celtic spirals and knot work. Why do they have such widespread recognition and value? Perhaps because the mandala is a reflection of the universe, and in so many ways mandalas mimic the cyclical patterns of nature from the cycles of the moon and seasons, to the patterns in snowflakes, flowers, and shells.
In our modern Western world, the Swiss psychiatrist, Carl Jung, introduced us to the practice of creating mandalas for self-expression, healing and conscious discovery. He had a daily practice of creating mandalas, and found that the shapes, colors and symbols he used reflected his emotional and spiritual well-being at the time he created them. He concluded that our subconscious and conscious selves are always seeking balance, and creating mandalas were a form of meditation that could help soothe you and bring a sense of peace.
A study done a few years ago challenged people to create 100 mandalas in 100 days. The study group who took this challenge reported back that creating mandalas:
• Relaxed their body and mind
• Eased daily stress, worry and anxiety
• Enhanced self-esteem and self-acceptance
• Cultivated a feeling of inner peace and happiness
• Activated creativity and improved focus
• Fostered a sense of connectedness to themselves and others
• Improved sleep
• Was a lot of fun!
We’d love to share this wonderful creative experience with you! So check out our calendar and come in to create some wonderful mandalas with us. Enjoy the peace and happiness it promotes as you create them, and take home a gorgeous piece of pottery to give as a gift or enjoy yourself.