I have been inspired. It’s Spring and I love waking up early, going out on my front porch, lighting a candle and doing yoga to the cheerful chatter of the birds! Last night it rained and I immersed in the fragrance of soaked earth this morning. True Bliss!
Reading this book Morning Altars by Day Schildkret has awakened within me a new reverence for the world of nature. My backyard has become my canvas and there are infinite supplies for earth mandalas.
A mandala is a sacred circle. In his book, Day shows us how to create mandalas as a spiritual practice, deepening our connection to nature, awakening wonder and awe within ourselves and re-enchanting daily life.
I invite you to begin to explore the creation of nature mandalas as a relaxation practice with your child. First, go outside with a container, activating your wonder and awe (as Day suggests), and being to collect nature materials.
In exploring my backyard, I found a bird’s feather, pinecones, evergreen needles, pea gravel stones, seeds, leaves, twigs, flower petals, dandelions, blades of grass, and tiny dried rosehips.
Next, I got a piece of slate to build on. You can use any colored paper as your base. I prefer neutral colors to highlight and make the colors in the materials stand out.
Then, I began to activate my imagination to create with intention. Intention is what brings depth to this relaxation practice. Throughout your creating, pause periodically with your child to take a deep breath or to simply focus on your breath, mindfully bringing you attention present.
I like to place an affirmation or intention in each piece I place. For example, each twig could stand for strength and I think about ways that I am strong in my life. Each pebble could be an item of gratitude and I draw to mind something I am grateful for. Each dandelion bloom becomes what I am happy about, or things that bring me joy. Perhaps the flower petals could stand for people or pets you love? Possibly the seeds could represent growth or world peace? Allow yourself to support your child in connecting with her heart to create this earth mandala.
Place your earth mandala in a special place in your house and return to it to practice relaxation for a few days. Create a routine around it so that your body, heart and mind begin to get in tune automatically when you sit in front of the mandala. Be sure to create it away from young siblings or pets for both their safety and to preserve the mandala’s beauty while you are enjoying it!