make mandalas, create meaning

mandala is a sanskrit word for sacred space or vehicle. i read in one political history book that mandala means a network in the old trading stories of pre-colonial filipinos. this was the pre-modern web! mandalas are good for meditation. as i was cutting paper to make mandalas for friends and family, i realized why i make mandalas. my significant discovery is ” mandalas carry stories”.

since 2003 , i made mandalas for friends who were ill and offered them for healing. i painted, cut paper and folded them into balangays or boats and peace cranes. i made mandalas for family as a form of prayer and the stories that flowed like tears. for special occasions like christmas, i would give them as lanterns and mobile arts. this year,every morning, i would look at them with the light streaming through and somehow i could feel a story coming for blogging.

friends have asked me how to make them. lea and hazel, two therapists, are opening their ginhawa house in kamias this march. i offered to help them learn how to make mandalas. they suggested i teach women with hivs and aids. i accepted the offer and will see how mandalas could provide healing stories.

while planning mandalas in my head, i brought out the Man’s Search For Meaning book of Viktor E. Frankl, a psychiatrist who started logotherapy . he survived three prisons in germany during the holocaust. rereading it made me think of what people say ” anything can happen to you. what matters is what you do with what happens.” i found women who have been violently abused take courage as their right to be. i have learned from men who have been tortured but have forgiven their torturers. both women and men have found meaning in moving and discovering a second chance at life to be good. Viktor Frankl said ” live as if you were living for the second time and had acted as wrongly the first time as you are about to act now.” he stated that by acting and fulfilling a potential meaning, one’s life becomes worth living. i offer that to friends who feel their marriages have been burdened by troubles, to parents whose children defy them, to grandparents whose lives are in the final boarding phase.

i especially devote time to making mandalas for my parents ( cesar, nene and adang) because they have so much meaningful material in their lives. i keep telling ed that we should write about them, now that they are in their senior moments. nanay adang will be 88 this feb.7, nene will be 78 on april 4 and cesar will be 85 on nov.6. viktor frankl said that people like my parents have ” realities in the past – the potentialities that they have actualized, the meanings they have fulfilled,the values they have realized and nothing, and nobody can ever remove these assets from the past.” am emphasizing assets from the past – these are their granaries which we are proud to harvest from.

honor thy parents and ancestors. make our gratitude greater than our success ( quote from dan sullivan)

i hope mandalas bring you stories of meaningful lives.

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Explore posts in the same categories: Babaylan, Psychology, sacred mandala

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