Eighteenth Mandala – The Mandala of Shadow and Light

Eighteenth Mandala – The Mandala of Shadow and Light

I forget how dark can be.

I forget how painfully real can feel the mental suffering when destructive voices cover everything.

I forget the power of the fear and of the desire to fade, to run and hide away where nothing can touch or be touched.

I forget the guilt and the blame.

I forget the lack of understanding and compassion I can feel towards this fragility of mine that I seem to be unable to really believe and accept.

I forget how dark can be when a night like this is far away.

I forget how, in these moments, small ordinary troubles feel impossible to face.

Doubts that nobody can solve for me reappear, would the medicines I don’t want to take be the solution?  Is it silly this stubbornness of not wanting to take them and manage the problem differently? Am I actually managing it or lying to myself?

These days are like this. I know that they will pass and the sun will shine again, that I will feel again pleasure and gratitude for the many blessings in my life and I will think I am overacting, that nothing was really wrong with me, just a bit of silly sadness.

Life is made of shadows and light, sometimes the shadows appear without apparent reason because they are the production of the mind and it is difficult to understand and accept that they are real even if not true. I’m learning to sit with my shadows, talk with them and wait until they will be blown away, knowing that they will come back to leave again, wondering if anything will ever really change, but continuing to looking for a path, mine.

The light is starting to shine again, even if a bit timidly.

At the centre of the Mandala, there is a pulsating heart, tears are breaking it, hope that things can change is weakened by the shadows which surround the core trying to expand towards the centre. But the heart continues to beat and faith to exist beneath all those dark shadows.

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Seventeenth Mandala – My Wheel of Life

Seventeenth Mandala – My Wheel of Life

My Wheel of Life Mandala – The beginning of a new self-coaching journey.

The inspiration behind this Mandala is the coaching tool the wheel of life, it is a freely representation of the wheel of life that I’m going to use for the first step on a new self-coaching Journey I’m going to start. I will use this wheel to assess my “here and now” before to engage in any kind of investigation around my goals. I divided the wheel in all the aspects of my life that are important to me.

I will use my first Wheel of Life for my reflections and enquiry.

I will then use an adapted version of the standard Wheel of Life as a working sheet before finalising this process. And, finally,  to close this first coaching step, I will use the result form this self-enquiry to complete my second Wheel of Life Mandala which has not headings or clear segments at this stage because they might be different as a result of my reflections and self-enquiry.

I’m starting this self-coaching journey with a travel companion that will engage in a similar personal journey of self-discovery and transformation. Maybe we will find more travel companion along the way.

My Wheel of  Life Mandala:

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The Wheel of Life – working sheet.

Mandala -17 (Companion)

My Wheel of  Life Mandala- 2:

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Sixteenth Mandala- An Anchor For Faith

Sixteenth Mandala- An Anchor For Faith

 

Our Life is a journey of self-realization. We are on a path, which sometimes is clear and exciting others challenging and obscure, where every intentions and actions, each and every moment count. Sometimes, when we reach the end of a more or less important phase of our life, we can feel a bit lost and uncertain on the next steps. In these moments, the risk to give up and be distracted by old habits becomes very high. In these delicate moments, if we have our own anchor that can keep us grounded and motivated in the midst of doubts, this anchor can save us from becoming  fully and fatally distracted because this anchor can, at any time, help us to find a way back to our path, to our purpose. But, for this anchor to work its “magic”, we need to use it consistently, especially when it looks like a useless waste of time, when we don’t remember our reasons and our faith is tested and fragile, when sitting cross-legged breathing might feel impossible and unachievable, when drawing a Mandala or writing something  as a simple writing exercise might feel an empty act with no future.

This week Mandala is about this anchor and my trust in it and it is the Anchor itself.

Often, when we are in the middle of a new path, that might appear illogical and unclear no matter how enthusiastic and excited we were at the beginning, doubts and temptation to give up start to show up and questions about the purpose and the meaning of what we do start to emerge. In these moments, if we can go back to our anchor and hold on to it even without fully remembering its purpose, but keeping our commitment to do it, we might not lose sight of our destination, we might find again the light that was momentarily obscured by doubts. Because often in the middle there is confusion and haziness and we need to have something that can help us navigate this unknown route that is our life, unique and precious in its limitless possibilities, joys, obstacles, challenges and uncertainties.

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Fifteenth Mandala – About Words.

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Words’ Mandala. 

“I look for Wisdom in the Silence, I tune in with the rhythm of the natural and universal Breath: I breath in Light, breath out darkness and I let the nature of illusions and the ever-present Truth reveal themselves.

It is for me a journey of discovery of the Mind which engage my Heart.

I finally start to Trust this Energy, this flow.”

 The process starts with small individual lines sometimes with no direction or vision. A pattern starts to emerge, but the final representation is unknown till the end, till you sit down and look at it when all is finish and let the picture tell you its own story.

Everything at the end is made by small details like every single line in a Mandala or letter in a single word, that on their own might not seem to have a story or a purpose and be extremely simple, but they are all the essential part of a whole more complex and meaningful universe.

Words are powerful and beautiful in their sounds, rhythm and meaning.

They can be wonderful but they can also be source of suffering. Choose the words that you allow to take root in your mind and look the other ones floating away like white cloud in a clear blue sky.

Sometimes we do not pay attention at the apparently innocent repeated words that have been said to us and the subtle meanings we allow in our mind to take root and shape our experiences.

When we start to be mindful, we start to discover how much of what we hear, we feel and we think is shaped by our own interpretation of what happens around us which might have nothing to do with others’ intentions, but we also start to discover the beauty of repeating certain words, to reflect on them, to let them take root in our mind and grow, and the power we have in choosing to be mindful of what meaning we give to other words which could have the power to undermine all our efforts or just simply treated for what they are passing words in a blue sky. Look for the bare truth of the experience and be aware of the perils of disillusions and false interpretations.

Practicing mindfulness, for me, means going back to the single particle of the moment, pay attention to the small apparently insignificant detail to learn to be part of the whole moment.

Fourteenth Mandala – My mindfulness formal practice

This week mandala is about my efforts and understandings about formal mindfulness practice that I’m embracing and building one step at a time with repetitions, with studying, with sharing and connection with others who have engaged in similar paths.

It is a bit different Mandala there are more words than symbols or drawings. These are the words, the questions, the applications, the mantras I want to keep in mind and be aware not only during the formal practice but as part of my efforts for living a mindful life.

p.s. I noticed some errors… but as for all my creations I not only do not aim or pretend to be perfect or accurate, I do not even try. I simply enjoy the process and the reflection.

(01/05/2016)Mandala 14

Why this Blog

As a compassionate warrior, I close my eyes and I go inside, two words emerge: Wisdom and Open-heart, but in the background there is another one which I left silent and is at the heart of everything and is Trust. I embrace my vulnerability and show myself without pretense with an open heart and an open mind. I rely on the wisdom I discover in me, in the others and in life around me and I’m learning to trust again myself, life and the mysterious wonder that is this universe and this present moment.

As a compassionate warrior, I realise that there cannot be joy without suffering, creation without errors and failures, light without darkness and that I need to face life and its challenges with a sense of lightness and compassion for myself and others. I realise that I cannot connect with others without risking, without showing up honestly and fully, even if it is terrifying as being vulnerable is scary because things could go differently than what we would like and what we love maybe will not be loved as much.

For a longtime I avoided myself and my thoughts in the noise and busyness of the daily life because when I looked inside I could only see a big black hole, in recent years, when avoiding myself stopped working (every coping strategy seems to fail at some stage), I started to look for the silence and in that silence (not only in terms of sounds but also of actions) I started to look inside, once again for a long time I could only see blackness, but then some light started to break through the solid blackness and I started to feel energy flowing from inside outside and from outside inside, because it is a two-way channel from the mind to the heart, from the heart to the mind, from the center to the periphery and from the periphery to the center, from words, to beliefs and to action and fate, from fate to actions to beliefs to words.

As a compassionate warrior, I am having the courage to share some of my own words and my creations on this new blog even if a bit scared about the critics or the lack of interest, because they are words and creations that came to me and there is no expectations attached or desire other than write or create them and bring them outside my mind into the world.