A Week in Bologna

20130408-183518.jpgI rarely land anywhere without doing my homework. I like to have a half baked notion about where I’m heading. The thing is, prior to my Bologna trip I was focused on a writing project that I wanted to complete before my trip. I had the bones of it but I needed to take the bones and shake them about a bit. I didn’t get it completely finished and, foolishly, I took it to Bologna thinking I would work on it in between my Mandala Course and a little sight seeing. That didn’t happen however, and isn’t happening because since I landed in Bologna with my course schedule, a map of the university area and a loose plan spaced with serendipity I have fell in love… 20130408-214629.jpgBologna — la dotta, la grassa, la rossa — my new favourite city in Italy. I’ll translate the meaning and tell you all about it when I get back! Right now, I’m too busy having a mad passionate love affair… Salute!


Drawing Words, Writing Circles.


I’ve been writing all day…in my head. I have been travelling too. I landed in Bologna with my head full of words. That’s okay. They will tumble out sooner or later and spill on to a white A4 sheet of paper to join the words already there. One sentence will become two, then three until I scribble and smudge them out again. Most words end up in the bin but some are rescued, a word or phase that sounds right and before I know it the words take over and write themselves. That’s the way with words.

Tomorrow I’ll jot down a few but tomorrow evening I will draw a circle because that’s what I do when I’m not writing words. It’s no ordinary circle. It’s a Mandala. Sometimes I fill my circle up with words. Sometimes it fills me up with images, symbols that speak to me.

I don’t feel I draw the Mandala. I feel it draws me. The one above was simply created with a stick on Lisfannon beach Inis Eoghain in all of a few minutes. It claimed my focus, my thought and quietened my mind. It’s such a simple way to meditate.

It’s not everyday I’m in Bologna drawing circles so I’m looking forward and will post back soon. In the meantime I’m grateful for simple things…arriving safe, welcoming smiles, a hot shower, a cozy bed and rain whisper in Bologna tonight.

Mandala Magic

I draw circles. Lots and lots of circles. I like the way the circle has no beginning and no end. Emptying my mind, I am drawn towards the centre of a blank canvas. Allowing my intuition to guide me, I create with deep breath and colourful abandon, experiencing the expansion of the moment. Moments melt and blend together as the colours flood and find their own beginnings and endings. I am in no hurry. There is no need to race to a destination. There is no destination. There is only the experience of feeling one with the circle. I become the circle. The circle becomes me.

The word, “mandala” is the Sanskrit word for circle or center, representing wholeness, completeness, and the cyclical nature of life. Everything in life is a circle. The sky is round, the earth is round, and so are all the stars. The wind swirls round and the birds make circular nests. The sun, the moon and the seasons form a great circle in their changing, and always come back again to where they were.

Nature is filled with mandalas, eggs, flowers, spider webs, seeds, tree trunks, snowflakes, cells, molecules, atoms, planets and their orbits, solar systems and galaxies. The human eye also has a mandalic form: The pupil sits in the center of the iris, collecting light from the outer world and projecting it inward. Even the polycrystalline form of the DNA molecule is a mandala.

Just as the power of the world often manifests in circles, our own power, or potential, can also be discovered in a circle. Allow the mandala to take you to the still centre within your being. Encounter the endless possibilities that emanate from your centre. Grab some coloured pencils and paper and have fun discovering yourself.