Tag Archives: Circle

Art as Spiritual Practice: The Mandala

I believe that just as all of life is created from and infused with Spirit, so is art.  In my art I draw no lines between “spiritual” and “non spiritual” works.  Some pieces may have more obvious religious or spiritual themes or symbolism than others, but all are created with the Creator of the Universe.

That said I do love to play with sacred geometry, especially circles.  I have worked with the form of the Rose Window for Rose of Sharon.

Rose of Sharon Copyright 2010
Rose of Sharon
Copyright 2010

I have also explored the labyrinth (the Walker Series),

Firewalker Copyright 2015 by R.A. Robbins
Firewalker
Copyright 2015 by R.A. Robbins

But until recently I have not attempted a mandala.  Finally one day last summer I cleared my schedule for an “art day” and devoted my time and energy to making one.

I began the day with meditation on the courtesy dock which actually extends over the water.  What a wonderful way to begin, sitting silently listening to the birds and feeling the gentle breeze on my face.  Then I went inside and did a bit more study on the history and process of the mandala.  I wanted to work outside so I loaded up a couple of tote bags, walked back down to the lake and set up on a picnic table by the water.

I thought I had an idea of what I would do, but Spirit had something else in mind.  Instead of the extremely intricate flowing lines of many drawn mandalas, I ended us with very basic circles full of personal meaning and symbolism.  It may not seem like much to others, but to me it is a gentle, encouraging message from the Creator and exactly what I needed on that day.  I am not posting a photo here because this is a very personal piece. It is hanging in my studio and is not for sale.

 

When we begin recognizing our connection to nature, Spirit, symbols and other people life starts to open up to us in all it’s glory.  The mandala is one tool we can use to help facilitate this.  More than just an art form, Spirit will speak through it if we just listen.

For more information on mandalas see:

http://www.mandalaproject.org/

http://peopleof.oureverydaylife.com/history-mandala-7424.html

http://www.creativedreamincubator.com/journaling-2/art-journal/how-to-draw-mandalas-and-why-you-want-to/

 

Thought for Today

Circle of Life Dance at the United Nations in ...
Circle of Life Dance at the United Nations in Geneva (Photo credit: US Mission Geneva)

“He drew a circle that shut me out-

Heretic, rebel, a thing to flout.

But Love and I had the wit to win:

We drew a circle and took him In!”

— From the poem “Outwitted” by Ewin Markham

Drawing a Larger Circle

circle of people
circle of people (Photo credit: PLCMC training account)

We live in a world that is becoming increasingly divided and fragmented.  We are separating ourselves from others based on race, gender, age, political or religious belief or affiliation and even perceived health and physical beauty.   What if instead of forming small groups to exclude others we drew a larger circle that took in others who may not share our beliefs or lifestyle?  Instead of drawing a circle that shuts others out, let love draw a larger, more inclusive circle that draws in all living in social isolation. When we do we will find that we are no longer alone and isolated, but even more, that we are no longer so “different.”