Friday, December 18, 2009

Mandala and rhe Art of Visual Storytelling

The mandala -- a circle -- is the oldest expression of wholeness. Buddhist, Hindu. Jung. (His mandalas are on display in the magnificent exhibition now at NYC's Rubin Museum, extended until Feb.) This was how Jung healed himself from a nervous breakdown after his break-up with Freud, and became the basis of his psychology.

There is a whole, healthy, radiant Self inside us -- a reflection of God or life force energy -- that is larger than our ego, which is separate, and is connected with every living thing. Our internal healer. Our compass for our authentic path and role in life. Our unending source of supply.

When I was writing my dissertation -- normally not known as an experience of joyousness! -- my advisor (a visual artist) showed me how to use visual art to keep up my creative energy, use the creative unconscious to pull together ideas, and dissolve creative blocks. My dissertation did turn out to be a labor of love and joy, a living document on creative practice that I use to this day!

I continue to use the same process, almost as visual and story meditation.

Tools for Creative Practice: Finding and Expressing the Visual Story

This particular exercise combines the art of Mandala with the art of construction paper collage and the art of seeding story. It can be done alone or with a group. It uses the simplest of materials, making it effortless to do for yourself, with your clients, a child, a loved one -- a sketch pad with strong paper; a pack of construction paper, scissors, a glue stick, a writing pad and pen.

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