The art of expression and connection – The Mandaily Project
Mandala in Sanskrit means circle. In a general sense, the term can be found in many different cultures and contexts. As far as we are concerned, the mandala is a creative expression using any medium (digital or traditional, words, sculpture, collage, painting etc.) that takes place within a circle. Mandala making is also an integral element of a Holotropic Breathwork session
Casting a circle is the first step towards making a mandala. By casting the circle, we open a simple yet powerful ritual and create a safe space for expression. The circle holds the space for the unfolding of our psyche at that specific moment, whether this is limited within that circle or exceeds it. It also contains this dynamic, so that we can reconnect with it at any later time through observation, touch, meditation.
The practice of mandala making on a regular basis is a way of reconnecting with our Self, as we dedicate that space and time from our busy daily life into an introspective state, thus allowing whatever comes up at that specific moment to manifest. Especially following deep work in holotropic states, mandala making is a way to integrate the experiences, maintain the connection to our inner healing wisdom and help the process to unfold smoothly as more insights emerge into consciousness. In a mandala we can express ideas, visions, bodily sensations, energies, emotions, movement, sound thus allowing energies or blockages to flow through expression. We are thus revealed with unexplored possibilities and new perspectives as we come to integrate the holotropic experience. Mandala making is in fact a great source of inspiration, while we don’t have to feel particularly inspired to create one.
Through regular practice, we begin to develop a relationship with our Self, as we learn to listen and acknowledge, to negotiate and manifest our inner wisdom into daily life.
Sharing is the second integral part of mandala making, whether this be during a Holotropic Breathwork setting or afterwards, and it also is an important aspect of Mandaily. In that case, the group is itself a larger mandala that is unfolding through our individual contributions. By joining such group, we make a double commitment, to ourselves and to the group, to maintain its integrity and confidentiality, as well as, to hold the space with compassion. Through this initial commitment, we create a sense of community and communion while maintaining a constant connection with the other members. In that way, we have a valuable sense of support and comfort either during or after deep work in holotropic states.
Sharing our mandalas, in the right context, can be a most healing part of the practice itself. We offer a part of our inner wisdom to the collective consciousness of the group, through which we become enriched, we learn, identify, sympathize, and gain more insight and understanding on different aspects of our being. By sharing our mandalas, we participate, we witness and be witnessed as we are and eventually loosen our individual boundaries and step into the collective.
These aspects are of course not exhaustive nor can a text really substitute for the actual expressive practice. However, they are indicative of the power and significance of mandala making and sharing in the context of deep therapeutic work in holotropic states of consciousness.
The Mandaily Project started as a way of providing this safe space for support and connection among Holotropic Breathwork participants through mandala making. It aims to offer an opportunity at whichever step of our journey and regardless of background or artistic ability, to create, share, inspire and integrate our experience.
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