& Inner Work Process
On the outside we look like simple, individual human beings. But inside we are an entire universe of complex, interrelated and interdependent parts and selves who play multitudinous roles in our physical, emotional, mental and spiritual lives.
A Mandala reflects the many parts of our one, whole being.
This wholeness of being is known as the Self, or the inner self, or the Christ Self, or, in the teachings of Jesus, the Child—the child who has an angel whose face is always turned towards God, and which child holds the key to the kingdom or the realm of spirit.
No wonder there is so much emphasis in psychology and spiritual direction on having a positive connection with this inner child. Inner healing or the mending of the heart is largely a matter of freeing this child from its imprisonment.
The inner child is the creative self, and we nurture this inner, child-self when we break from our adult routines and do creative work and play.
In contact with this inner creative spirit the wellsprings of our lives are refreshed and restored--the parts are brought into balance and relationship with the whole.
This reconnection of the parts with the whole is what is happening on a feeling and intuitive level in the process of creating a Mandala.
PART ONE -
Preparations: For each person you will need one each of seven spectrum colors in each of seven shapes—four squares and three circles--or, altogether, a selection of 49 color/shapes. You will also need a glue stick, and a background paper onto which to construct the mandala. See IPMM Pattern, Papers & Instructions.
Assemblage (general): Fan out the array of colors for each shape, arranging them according to the order in which the choices are to be made, i.e., largest square, largest circle, etc., to the smallest square
Chose first from the largest squares and glue to the backing. Next chose from the largest circles, gluing it in place, and so on for all seven levels.
Strive to be spontaneous in making the choices. Choose which color stands out or seems to want to be chosen. Try not to analyze or choose colors you may previously have believed "go together." Be intuitive.
As a Life Overview Process
Level 2 - Largest Circle
Level 3 - Second Largest Square
Level 4 - Middle-Size Circle
Level 5 - Second Smallest Square
Level 6 - Smallest Circle
Level 7 - Smallest Square
Dialoguing with a creative work is one of Ira Progoff’s Intensive Journal innerwork processes. There are a number of ways of initiating a dialogue with a mandala:
True to form an intensive journal dialogue with a creative work might begin with a question or an observation addressed to your mandala and then, taking the part of the mandala, write what comes in answer. For instance:
You: I'd be interested to know what in my earliest surroundings the large orange square I chose for your background represents.
Mandala: Well, it is a warm, energizing color and suggests a highly active early environment.
You: That it was. And I do recall there were orange trees in the backyard. I guess the overall feeling was one of warmth and activity.
(Going then to the next level, the largest circle, allow the dialogue to progress through all seven levels.)
Below are a few other suggestions for journaling with a mandala.
· Looking at your mandala, begin writing whatever comes first to mind and follow where the flow leads.
· Or, look to the levels as “stepping stones” in your life and, beginning with the first color chosen, see where the progression leads.
· Another way to begin might be to write “I chose (insert color) because . . .” and write the first thing that comes to mind, continuing in this vein.
· Or, consider the overall feeling tone of the mandala and dialogue concerning this.
· Another approach might be to dialogue with Matisse’s statement that “Composition is the art of arranging in a decorative manner the various elements at an artist’s disposal for the expression of his or her feelings,” asking, “In what way is my mandala an expression of my feelings?”