Saturday, July 24, 2010

Teaching Mandalas: The Mandala teaches US!

Since Zentangle inspired mandalas are so much fun to do, I figured teaching them would be even more fun! Having struggled my way through some mathematical renditions, and moving past my desire for asymmetry, I finally got to the point of being excited to teach an easy way to do a mandala without the stress of fussing with math.
     I wanted to be really prepared to teach this process in as streamlined a way as I could. So what did I do? In my effort to be thorough, I totally complicated it. I was trying to control the hell out of it so my students would get how to do this. FInally, after a week of putzing around with a "system", and getting to no place that I could get a handle on, I realized something. The thing I was trying to control was the process of letting go and letting it be. OK. duh. That is what the mandala was trying to show me all along.
     So today was the class, I loaded up my supplies and decided to just allow. I began the class by telling my story of how hard I had worked to get a system of teaching this, but that the mandala itself showed me that there was no way to plan this adventure. I asked them to float with me as we all began together. They made the same marks that I did. It was as if we were all in a carnival funhouse, stepping each step together, with me at the front of the line.
     This was the fun of the mandala. As with the Zentangle process, "one stroke at a time," not knowing where the next step will lead, we circled our way around our papers and watched as the lines danced out from the center. Just as in the funhouse, even though there may be a leader and a follower, there is still the same sense of surprise and awe when each new step is taken.
     I hope they had as much fun as I did... 


  1. Thanks, was a lot of fun! Another class...another's all good.....

  2. How wonderful, Carole! I have my first ZT102 next weekend. I think I am in the same place you were planning this class. Thanks for sharing your insightful post!

  3. Awesome Carole, Love it!!
    isn't it great how the entire creation process of the mandala is the journey, and the lessons come through it!! :) Each mandala I draw is a conversation with me, even the process of picking the pen, the chair I sit in, etc... becomes a part of the story!! So glad to see you sharing this with others, spreading the mandala joy (and agony :) LOL)

  4. These are a lot of fun, all the same and yet all different! What size paper and pen did you use? Did you put down pencil lines first? division of 8?

  5. Margaret, the ones in the photos are made on templates (that I made for them) printed in a light screen on card stock. The students then learned to make one from scratch to do on 9x9 vellum bristol. They made their starting marks by cutting a snowflake and tracing the cuts. (no math. Yay!) Then the pen is used to create the spaces and shapes to be filled with tangles.

  6. Jane, yes yes. For me, it's about paying attention with my intuition rather than my brain.

  7. Carole, I love these. They look wonderful and I am so excited to try it out for myself. Will admit, scared of the math myself, going to try the template version first.
    Thank you for sharing!!

  8. It was a wonderful class and I had a great time! The route I took was a bit different. I used the snowflake concept, but ended up using the points of the cutouts for connections rather than using them as part of the design. Not sure why, that's just the way the pen took me.

  9. Jann, I'd say the Mandala is working its magic on you! I can't wait to see what else you do with these!

  10. I need HEEEELP from you talented and creative folks. I have to create a mandala that teaches or delivers a message. I have to clue where to start. Would someone please give examples of the things that a mandala would teach. Thank you so much.

  11. Dear Admin,
    I browse your website, its very impressive, I love it.
    I have collectively this connected website.
    Creations of an Israeli artists they combine the secrets of the Kabala with the powers of Mandalas to combine a unique tool for relaxation and fun. The article explains what is a Maagala.
    mandala elephant

    Best Regards
    Libby Lain