This week, I was lucky enough to visit a beautiful Lotus Garden with my mum. Such a peaceful, beautiful place, set amidst the mountains of the Yarra Valley near my home. It was quite magical, and reminded me of Bali...suprising that such a place exists here.
Isn't this pretty with the mountains in the background? The lakes are filled with lotus and waterlilies, and the sound of frogs carries through the air...we are near the end of March, so it is almost the end of the flowering season, but it was still delightful to behold.
I love the Buddhist symbolism of the Lotus Flower - awakening to the spiritual reality of life. Quite poignant I feel, at this point of my life's journey, where I am re-evaluating so much about myself and the world in which I live.
The Lotus Flower's pattern of growth represents the progress of the soul...it begins with it's roots in the mud at the bottom of the pond. Slowly, it grows up towards the water's surface, moving all the time, towards the light. As it emerges from the water, it begins to blossom and turn into a beautiful flower.
As metaphor, it has endured the 'mud and muck' of materialism, and negotiated it's way through the waters of experience to emerge into the bright sunshine of enlightenment. Beautiful. At times, I still feel like I am stuck in the mud, but then I remind myself of all that I have and am grateful for the life I have been blessed with.
All of this beauty has inspired me to explore a mandala featuring, you guessed it, a Lotus Flower...in times of stress and emotional upheaval, sitting down and drawing a mandala is one of the most relaxing, meditative things to do - have you ever tried it? I know mandalas are a wonderful Art Therapy tool...time has no significance once you immerse yourself in this beautiful past-time. And even if you don't feel like drawing your own mandala, there are so many designs you can print straight from the internet and just colour with pencil, or crayon or paint...a most relaxing way to spend an afternoon.
And yes, I realise that my lotus isn't perfectly symmetrical, and that you can see pencil strokes - so what? I feel so calm and relaxed just from the process of creating my mandala...mine is drawn freehand, but of course you can always trace or like I said before, print out your own. So, I hope I have inspired you to create your own mandala...if you are too 'scared' to paint a picture, this could be the perfect starting point for you...put on some inspiring music, grab some pencils and paper, and go wild with the colours that sing to your heart and soul...