Monday, November 1, 2010

Reviving The Mandala

I have the honor and privilege to work with a practitioner from Sri Lanka because I am on the faculty of the International Trauma Treatment Program. My role is to facilitate the exchange of information in trauma treatment using art therapy.

My approach is to engage the practitioners in creating art and learning from the process how art therapy might benefit their work with traumatized people of their country.

This is the second practitioner in the program who works at the Butterfly Peace Garden in Sri Lanka. The Butterfly Peace Garden (BPG) is a non-governmental organization established in Batticaloa, Sri Lanka in 1996. Children are brought to the BPG each day from surrounding villages in groups that are mixed with respect to gender and ethnicity (e.g. children from Tamil and Muslim villages). A typical program cycle runs one day a week for nine months and involves activities drawn from a range of visual, dramatic and musical arts. Activities are conducted by adult animators skilled in one or more artistic discipline, who have in many cases experienced psychological wounds similar to those of the children who come to the BPG. The BPG has for several years served as a model for innovative and effective programs for war-affected children, families and communities.

Today, I was feeling a bit "traumatized" from the rushed day I had been experiencing. I explained to the practitioner how "centering" it is to create a mandala especially without any preconceived image. Drawing a circle and creating shapes, lines, and forms with colors inside the boundaries of the circle can be very therapeutic. It is calming and very similar to meditation.

When creating a mandala, I find that images may appear and I can choose to bring forth that image, or not. What appeared today was the image of a female dancing. I wondered if it were a message to me........

to dance with the flow of life rather than to react? There is a free feeling; a sense of joy and power to this movement.
It makes me smile.

This mandala has awakened my intuitive nature and I know that there is more to come. It is posted on my wall so that I can see and hear its message.

It has revived my interest and love of creating mandalas.

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