Mandala Art Therapy can be a great source of reflection on one’s soul, says SUMEET NAIK.
When you see a child scribble over the bedroom walls, you tend to stop by giving a piece of paper and crayons to bring out the artistic best in the child. Among all the subjects in primary, drawing has been the chosen one for many. Even the preparation for the Drawing paper exam has its own charm and fun, from gathering of colours to sharpened pencils and neatly arranged rulers. It won’t be wrong to say that drawing or for that matter any form of art, has always had certain therapeutic powers to ease one’s mind and body.
Today, the Mandala Art Therapy & Healing has emerged as one of the popular medium for channelizing individual’s creative energy into personal well-being.
‘Mandala’ is a generic term for “any diagram, chart or geometric pattern that represents the cosmos metaphysically or symbolically; a microcosm of the universe” according to Wikipedia
But going beyond the stereotypes, Mandela is a reflection of Emotional Intelligence, ““Today most of us pay attention towards Intelligence Quotient (IQ), while ignoring the Emotional Quotient (EQ) which is actually of primary importance,” says Tripti Raikwar, a healing art coach. Sitting into her artistic healing den ‘Trishti Healing Arts’ located in Andheri, surrounded by art work (mainly paintings) done by her clients she dwells upon the growing trend of Mandala Art as one of the healing techniques. “Every individual has an emotional side, which varies from one person to the other. Mandala helps to centre ones energies thereby aligning the body and mind,” says Raikwar.
“With various forms of healing and relaxation methods been available nowadays, it generally tends to confuse people at times which one to really go for, but ultimately it is the matter of trust and faith that guides an individual to arrive at a choice,” she further adds. Most of the cases that come to Raikwar are the ones who are emotionally unwell and not physically. Depending on the level of emotional deprivation one is giving the correct form of Mandala and guided from where to start and end. “People with the problem of anxiety are told to start from outer area and come inwards to the core of Mandala. It helps in grounding the person to the core of one’s individuality, thereby helping a healing art expert know, how well the root of the client is nourished,” says 42-year-old with conviction.
Just as we are about to go deep into understanding Mandala, a 3-year-old Chetna (name changed) accompanied by her mother walks in with sheer joy on her face of being in there. “Chetna was a hyperactive child until she came here four months back. Today she is much relaxed and enjoys drawing, painting and colouring, which helps her stay grounded,” says her mother Rupal Soni (name changed).
“It is the power of art, be it of any kind. If you realise, there is no age bar to turn towards art as a healing technique. In Chetna’s case she was twice more restless than the child normally is at her age. But just allowing her to express herself through the medium of Healing Art, asking her to draw and paint whatever she wishes too has helped her a lot to calm down,” says Raikwar.
Asked about her take on Mandala Art being made a part of curriculum for Secondary section in schools, she replies in affirmative. “Wish we had looked towards Geometry and Algebra as one of the most ancient mediums of art. Unfortunately, our approach towards these subjects, are more academic then artistic. When we speak of concept of triangle and circle in secondary school, geometry is a language of universe that helps find inner balance and harmony leading to emotional wellness in the long run,” says Raikwar, and goes on to add that Mandala can tackle certain serious personal habits and issues too.
“I was a chain smoker for last 8 years, almost 15 to 25 cigarettes I used to smoke daily,” says Meena Bharadwaj (name changed) a South Mumbai resident, who adopted to smoking as style statement to be able to mix with the social elite crowd. “It was my biggest mistake in life, today when I look up at my grown up daughter and son, I really want to quit it,” says Bharadwaj, who today smokes just two cigarettes a day. It’s been almost a year that she is regular with Raikwar for Mandala therapy, which has helped her de-addict gradually bringing back her health, both mental and physical.
The oldest person Raikwar has come across who showed keen interest in understanding and learning the Mandala Art and participated in one of her regular conducted workshops was this 82-year-old gentleman from Vile Parle. To her sheer surprise he not only enrolled for the workshop, but opted for one of the most challenging form of drawing, ‘Flower of Life’.
“His enthusiasm would put even a teenager to shame. Despite trembling hands, he not only managed to hold the geometrical tools to perfection, but also drew one of the finest ‘Flower of Life’ among the rest of the participants,” says Raikwar, with a mystic smile on her face.
Who says Art can’t heal. One must have a heart to adopt an art, what follows next is sheer bliss. Let’s get reconnected to our ancient roots through Mandala and make our lives not just colourful but grounded too.