Center for Sacred Psychology

Soul Food Archive: Desserts & Snacks

Radha and Krishna
Radha and Krishna Feeding Each Other in the Glade
Western India, 19th century*

Desserts & Snacks can come in spiritual flavors. There are times when the hearty meal or novel fare just doesn’t appeal to our taste buds. Instead, we hunger for small after-dinner tidbits, simple comfort food, the treats of childhood. Here are some assorted tasty morsels and indulgences for times of spiritual play (and, no calories!).

Please visit our Main Courses and Guest Caterer Specials for heavier meals. Also, don’t forget our earlier offerings, stored in the Soul Food Archive. Your comments are always welcome. Read others' comments about this page.

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Click on the mandala image to print from a new window.

What? Our after-dinner treat is an asymmetrical mandala to color—with five rings in honor of the Vancouver Olympics of 2010.*  Coloring isn’t just for youngsters, but also is fun for the little kid still dwelling in each of us. 
Mandalas, of course, are widely used throughout the world as centering devices.  Spending time with any mandala-a rose window, a spider web, any circle with a center—allows the image to help us become re-centered physically and psychospiritually.  Carl Jung wrote that his original mandalas were "…cryptograms concerning the state of…my whole being" (in his autobiography: Memories, Dreams, Reflections, p.196.)

Why?  While making art from scratch may seem more creative, coloring an already-made design has the advantage of being easy.  Simple activities and playtime give our busy minds a break. They turn off the left brain for awhile.  Different brain wave frequencies are evoked.  We end up quieted and refreshed, as from meditation.  Needleworkers and woodworkers, among others, know a lot about this.
Coloring can be intentionally prayerful as well...in fact, the monks in a medieval scriptorium included those who drew, those who created initials, those who added gold leaf to the pages—and those who colored between the lines created by others.  And, for all, the work on illuminated manuscripts was a form of prayer.

How?  The mandala can be printed out and colored. Also, those skilled in using graphics software may want to try digital coloring right at their computers.  How do the inner effects of these two modes of coloring differ?  An attitude of trust is a plus in coloring: as art therapists and Sandplay practitioners remind us, 'the hand's wisdom differs from that of the brain.' (It's also helpful to date and save all artwork, even simple drawings such as this.) 

Here is one colorist's version of this mandala.  Interestingly, he noted that when a second copy was colored a week later, he went in for dark circles against vibrant, intense backgrounds.  A whole series could develop.

There are also interesting ways such patterns can engage our thinking minds as well as our hands.  Watch this Desserts & Snacks space for more ideas along this line.  And, please feel free to comment on the process of coloring—not only this design, but in other ways you’ve found it to be good, simple Soul Food.

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We're interested in ways this Soul Food may have touched your life.

Click HERE to send us your comments...

 

Read Others' Comments...

"This turned out to be a meditative experience for me. I'm looking for other mandalas to color--a peaceful way to pray. I'm interested in your line about using mind as well as hands with mandalas--please explain more fully."
Jackie M.

Dear Jackie, Thank you for your comments.  We will have more about mandalas in this space later in the year, including some ideas on how they can be used as  "head" activities as well as "heart-and-hands" images.  Just for a start, might you begin writing words on another copy of the present mandala--words that represent the many facets of your life?  What goes in the center?  Please stay tuned!  We very much appreciate your involvement.  Warm wishes from the Center staff

 

"I colored the mandala during the Vancouver Olympics. It helped me feel calm while I was holding my breath for some of the athletes. I am 11 years old. "
Kimberley

Dear Kimberley, We're so glad the mandala with the five rings helped you stay calm through all those daring ski jumps and bang-bang hockey games.  And, remember, any time you need to get "re-centered," you now have a good tool.  You can make your own mandalic designs--just start with a plate! 
Thanks for writing,  
The Center staff

 

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* Credits for this page:

~ Radha and Krishna Feeding Each Other in the Glade, Western India, 19th century

~ Mandala Designs, Martha Bartfeld (in the Dover Pictorial Archive Series, 2000).  See also the   
    artist's earlier work in Magic Mandala Coloring Book (Santa Fe: Mandalart Creations, 1998).

 

WATCH FOR OUR NEXT DESSERTs & SNACKs OFFERING--A SPECIAL COMIC STRIP--IN MAY

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