Meditative Mandala Stones
By Maria Mercedes Trujillo Arango
I am always looking for different and new ways to meditate. While I have heard of mandala meditation, i.e. meditating while looking at a mandala, I have never tried it. This set brings a new dimension to it, in that you make your own mandala on large river stones. My assumption is that it is akin to being stress-free by coloring, another trend.
Ms. Arango gives us a brief introduction as to how she came to mandalas, after having a life-long love of stones. She began to draw mandalas in her journals and studying their history.
Mandala in a broad sense means “circle” in Sanskrit, more closely “center”. They can be drawn, woven, made temporarily in sand. Where and how you make them is infinite and only limited by your imagination. Mandalas have been used in ritual and ceremony for hundreds of years and can be found the world over. She describes other examples of mandala usage in different cultures around the world. I was most familiar with the art of mehendi, or henna.
Ms. Arango states, “Each of us is a unit or monad, a whole, a microcosm. Our mandalas are like maps of our souls; they are representations of our “self” in a given moment, the moment when we create them”. She also relates that, “individual mandals are personal expressions of our psyche and are not related to any tradition or model”, and that, “each one is unique to its creator”.
Archaeologically speaking, many ancient mandalas were made on natural stone the world over. The author speaks of the differences between petroglyphs and pictograms. She also mentions some of the reasons that ancient cultures would use them, such as seasonal ceremonies, birth, the onset of a young woman’s moon-time, spiritual quests and magic rituals.
Her suggestions for allowing these shapes to organically come to you, is for you to meditate, letting your mind wander, letting the shapes and colors come to you. Allowing your feelings to translate into shapes and images.
The kit is not complete, in and of itself. It comes with a booklet, two large (and quite lovely) river stones, and a dip pen. You will need to purchase acrylic ink, as well as any other tools you may wish to try, such as artist pens. If you wish to continue, you will need to purchase more river stones, which I have found in craft stores, such as Michael’s.
The booklet gives examples of several designs you can choose from to draw your own mandalas, using different culture-inspired ones, using color, flower and geometric shapes. This is followed by several blank pages on which you can practice your mandalas before attempting to do one on a stone.
(Photo Credit: magamerlina.com)
I must be honest and say that I have not as yet attempted to paint a mandala on a stone, however, I have gone out to buy acrylic ink and some markers, as this is something I plan on doing very soon.
Although anyone could put together a kit like this on their own after some individual research in stones and mandalas, having it come, more or less, complete is a good headstart.
All in all, I liked this set quite a bit. As someone who has taught yoga and meditation for years, I am of the mind that anything that will bring less stress and more peace to everyone is well worth it.