“The structured pattern imposed by a circular image of this kind compensates the disorder and confusion of the psychic state—namely, through the construction of a central point to which everything is related.” -C. Jung
Last week, we learned a beautiful lesson from Jasmine Tarkeshi: Realizing we all have something special to give not only makes us feel abundant, but it’s a great gift to others in more ways than one. Mandala Mondays, a creative get-together at OpenEye Meditation Group Studio in San Rafael, was founded on that principle exactly.
When Graphic Designer, Tarané Sayler, and MIM Graduate, Camille Avis, met at a meditation group, they connected over a joint passion to give back to their community. Tarané had been running meditation and creative classes in her studio for some time and had started doing Mandala classes in order to meld the two. Along with a whole host of fabulous resources, Camille was then invited to guide meditation and bring her wisdom to the group. With Sayler’s background in art, and Avis’ breadth of knowledge about energy and healing, it was obvious an obviously perfect combo for the making of Mandalas, the ancient meditative practice of creating a diagram to represent the universe. And so began Mandala Mondays.
Arriving to OpenEye, you can feel the love that Sayler has for what she does. The entrance to her front hall office is flanked by beautiful healing crystals, her extremely covetable handmade jewelry (yes please) and terrariums (which she promises to teach us how to make…more on that soon!!). The women greets me enthusiastically and shows me to the back room, where several Mandala cards are laid out on the table. ‘Choose the one that speaks to you,’ she says. I love them all so much, I can’t decide, but thankfully we’re just about to start a 10-minute meditation, and I trust that when we’re done, I’ll know what to do.
Each night at Mandala Mondays has a different theme, and tonight is about Healing. After Camille’s lovely guided meditation, it’s time to color! I choose from what feels like hundreds of colored pens and pencils. It’s like a good day at kindergarten, but with many wise women surrounding me. As we begin, Tarané and Camille take turns reading passages about what it means to make a Mandala and how that relates to the theme of Healing. We learn from Carl Jung, Caroline Myss and local author and Vipassana expert, Jack Kornfield, about how our thoughts and internal world directly affects our health, circumstances and external world. We also talk about how the act of making art, like a Mandala, can instantly shift our energy for the better.
Tarané reads a heart-warming story that was adapted to a song by Leonard Cohen and one of the ladies in the group begins to sing. A horrible singer myself, I was about to be embarrassed for her, but as her voice lit up the room, I felt completely in awe instead - she was wonderful. And I couldn’t help but think how amazing it is that each one of us possesses some talent that has the power to inspire others, especially when we make the choice to share it.
Mandala Mondays is donation-based and happens every Monday in San Rafael at OpenEye Meditation Group Studio above the Tibetan shop at 875 4th St. For more info on OpenEye and to reserve your spot at Mandala Mondays, click here.
Photo: Luis Dávila
Post written for SFYogaMag.com