Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Mandalas: Focused Color in Journaling

I have long taught creative journaling classes that stem from the belief that the benefits of journaling can be compounded if you use art in your process. This gives the brain visual and verbal languages with which to process and communicate. I have given these workshops at many places, and the results have been phenomenal. I am preparing to teach a series of workshops on journaling. This is the first time I have done a series of workshops, and the hope is that I, and the participants, will be able to explore more topics on a deeper level. The first workshop delves into color and takes place Wednesday, October 17th from 10AM-12 PM at Radiance in Lancaster.

One aspect we will explore will be color relationships in mandalas. Mandala is a Sanskrit word that means circle, completion, or whole world. Basically, they are circular pictures that have been used in various cultures as a focusing tool to aid meditation and spiritual enlightenment. You can find examples of mandalas in Tibetan Sand Paintings, Native American Medicine wheels, and Rose windows from Gothic Cathedrals. Carl Jung, the famous psychoanalyst, saw the mandala as a representation of the unconscious self. He felt that work with mandalas helped him to diagnose emotional disorders in his patients and work towards healing the personality.

In my color workshops, I will be focusing on use of personal color codes in pre-drawn mandalas, though I hope to explore all aspects of mandala creation in later workshops. But for now the experience of color is a large enough field to immerse one's self. Try it for yourself. Here is a link to a Mandala. Pick up some crayons, colored pencils and go. While you are coloring in your mandala, feel the meditative state--the relaxing quality of primitive activity. Once you are done, you can analyze your creation.

What do the colors say about your mood?

What colors are on the outer edges of the mandala? Which colors are closest to center? What experiences and emotions do you relate with those colors?

Is there a color that isn't present in your mandala? Why is it absent? What qualities are missing in your day or in your life?

This is just one of the exercises we will be doing in the color class. My hope is to expose the participants to many forms of color journaling available so they have a plethora of ideas to choose from when they are journaling/journeying at home.

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