by Amy Hautman Bates
The Mandala is a symbol of wholeness. And within that oneness, there is a wonderful kaleidoscope of experiences and expressions. Every moment is new as everything sparkles and changes, and as each facet moves everything around it shifts in response. It is a beautiful dance of creative energy all within a unified circle. In Robert Waterman’s Archetypal Psychology class at Southwestern College, we created mandalas as a way to gain deeper insight into our true nature. Through the process, using patterns and colors, shapes and lines, my inner dimensions were revealed. Letting go of my attachment to the things that define me is an important step for me right now. It is in stripping away the masks I am comfortable in, that will allow my authentic self to come through. So after redrawing and reorganizing many different mandala pieces, in the end, (which is really only the beginning) I began to pare away the unnecessary parts and get rid of the decorative components. This course was short, in earth hours, but a long journey in terms of places traveled.
Allowing my true character to shine through was the underlying “goal” of this journey for me. Embracing the complete totality of who I was, who I am, and who I will be, and allowing it all to show up, was what I wanted. Oddly enough, that acceptance of my complete self comes not from getting anything, but from letting my critical self, step aside so that my true loving nature could be felt. I wanted to connect to the parts of myself that I may have abandoned at some point along the way, and embrace everything with gratitude and appreciation.
I will continue to visit the mandala as a method for maintaining my inner alignment with self. Rather than shut down my compulsive voices, I will trust my obsessions for the important guidance they might offer. I will sit quietly in gratitude and listen for the wisdom the universe is holding for me. When I am ready, I have access. The portals are around me. I will remain open to the mystery school, my inner path, my imagination, my dreams, my cohorts, the universe and its great and mysterious gifts right here, available to me.
In this mandala on a grid of brilliant stars, the beautiful center lotus flower unfolds as the universal core of all that is; the teal door is always open; the prominent white bird symbolizes my connection to the mystical and all that exists beyond my bodily self; and the reptiles represent all of the fears I have learned, and the empowering effect of the lessons they have given me. These are all every changing elements I am watching as I experience myself more fully, more honestly and more completely in this beautiful dance of life.