The Buddha, The Dharma, The Sangha

"Spiritual powers and their wondrous functioning--hauling water and carrying firewood." --Layman Pang, upon his realization

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Gratitude Practice--Day 7

Welcome to the final day of our Rohatsu Gratitude Practice!

"Each person's life is like a mandala--a vast, limitless circle.  We stand in the center of our own circle, and everything we see, hear and think forms the mandala of our life."
--Pema Chodron

Begin your morning with your Grounding practice (taking refuge in the True Self) at your Centering space.
Sit 5-10 minutes (or longer) in silent meditation, undisturbed.

The word Mandala means circle in Sanskrit.
A mandala represents wholeness, a cosmic diagram representing our place of centeredness in the Universe as Buddhas, and our intimate relationship  to all that surround us in an ever-expanding circle beyong our body and mind.
We can discover mandalas in all aspects of our life with the dance between the Ego Self/ True Self, our families, friends and communities.

For meditation purposes, a mandala invites the practitioner into a world of infinite wisdom and compassion, by guiding visualizations and transformations.  Meditation with a mandala as a tool can illuminate your path of past, present and future.

For our final practice today, we will find a mandala, decorate it and use it as a meditation tool at our Centering space.
There are several places on the Internet where you can download free printable mandalas to decorate with colored pencils, markers or paints--or leave them uncolored and fill them with significant words or phrases, or pictures that resonate with you.

You can also try your hand at drawing your own mandala--perfection is non-existent, so think in terms of making this a mandala that is just your own.  Begin with a circle, and let it organically grow from there.

Take time to notice connections and intersections in your mandala.
And then just have fun!
Let your creative juices flow, invite friends and family to join in, have a mandala coloring party.  Or create in silent solitude, making this part of your meditation. 
Either way, make as many mandalas as you want, then add them to your Centering space for the days to come.

As we conclude our 7 day cycle of Rohatsu Gratitude practice, consider how your experiences have culminated in this moment of living mandala.

Finish the day with your journaling--perhaps record your reactions and feelings about the mandala exercise.
Record 5-10 things for which you are grateful, different from yesterday.
Finally, offer yourself loving-kindness for your day, using the Metta prayer from Friday.

This ending is just the beginning!
In Gassho.

No comments: