Tuesday 27 December 2011

Do you know where you're going?

We are in the Other days, the Omen days, the days outside of Time. According to Celtic tradition, this is a time of signs. Each day, from Christmas Day until Twelfth Night, holds an oracle for the year ahead.  Thus Christmas Day governs January; Boxing Day February and so forth.  So be aware - what attracts your attention? What flirts with you? What catches your eye?  Inside or out, it doesn't matter. So I ask myself the question. What is catching my eye today?  And the answer is: mandalas. Oh yes, we're right back in Labyrinth territory. 

Of course we never really left it.  There is no One Way. And really, it's not a case of leaving the mundane behind but rather of dancing between the two - between the practicalities of everyday life and the mysteries of the life within/without/beyond.  Truly All is One.
Are you meditating yet? Have you found a way of tuning yourself into Everything?  Did sound not work for you?  Maybe try image.  It doesn't matter; it really doesn't...there are a million ways into the Labyrinth...it's just a case of finding the one that lets you slip past the siren calls of the mundane and allows you to slip sideways (sidheways) to the sun...
I love mandalas. I always have. I have made them in nature. I have scribbled them on the covers of my schoolbooks. I have run my finger around them in the crocheted blanket that still sits on my bed. I have painted them. I have stitched them. I have danced them. I have dreamed them. I have shaken them in a kaleidoscope. I have sung them.  I have meandered through them on the earth and in my mind. Perpetual motion combined with perpetual rest.
The mandala is a map of the cosmos. Limitless space. Wholeness. Unity. Gateway to the divine. Circle. Nierika. The face of God. Your own face. Look out into space and there are mandalas - universes dancing.  Look into the tiniest speck of creation and there are mandalas - universes dancing. Oh yes there are. Infinity.
You can use the mandala in so many ways. You can draw your own as Jung advised his patients to do. Finding yourself in the circle; figuring out your place in the world.  You don't have to be an artist. You can draw it with your eyes shut if you prefer. Just the motion of a hand circling is sweet balm to a troubled soul.
Or you can use other people's - either ancient or modern - gazing calmly, reflectively at the centre point - or just allowing your eyes to wander where they will. Tumble into the rabbit hole if you dare...who knows where you might end up?  If you look on YouTube you will find a myriad of mandalas - moving meditations. I will leave the right one to find you...
There are mandalas in pretty well every tradition - Christian, Buddhist, Taoist, Hindu, Bon, Tantra, Kabbalah,  shamanism... how could there not be?  One of my favourite mandalas is the one at the top of this post - it comes from the eighteenth-century, from Rajasthan and takes the form of a labyrinthine swastika - the path  the initiate must walk to Oneness.
Look around you and you will find mandalas in nature, in shell and leaf, in bark and snowflake, in a circle of pebbles on the beach, in the ripples of a lake in the centre of a forest or in an inner city puddle.  Blink at the sun; gaze on the moon; smile at crop circles; tumble into fractal geometry.
You can feel mandalas inside yourself, your spinning chakras, your own cosmos within... The mandala is not only a cosmogram but a psychocosmogram. Or should that be psychosomatocosmogram? *smile*
The mandala can also be an astral doorway, a link to other places, other times, other dimensions... sometimes you should tread carefully, very softly... Do you know where you need to go?  Do you know whom you want to meet?
A mandala can be a springboard...a key...a seal...a promise...a gateway. No, those elements do not contradict one another.  Will you use the key? Will you break the seal? Are you sure? Are you sure you're sure?

"Leave the past behind; leave the future behind; leave the present behind. Thou art then ready to go to the other shore. Never more shalt thou return to a life that ends in death." The Dhammapada.


Sessha Batto said...

I do love mandalas . . . that being said, I have no clue where I'm going, and I like it that way! If I know the destination I would never take the time to enjoy the journey, I'd just OCD my way through as quickly as possible and that would be SUCH a waste. A good roadmap is often highly overrated.

Cait O'Connor said...

Great pics of mandalas, I love them, great to get lost in and dream.

Exmoorjane said...

@Sessh - hell yeah...set the satnav for scenic route.. :)

@Cait - knew you'd like these.. :)

Being Me said...

Oh Jane, that quote at the end - amazing! Thank you.

I use mandalas a lot. I have studied with them, they form part of the foundation of the energenetic healing tools I have been working with for the past 8 years. What a fantastic post to start my day! Cheers.

Exmoorjane said...

Yay! Yeah, I like that quote too. :)