FAQ's - Frequently Asked Questions
"As we journey within we awaken the ability to heal our self and our soul. As we heal from within we can begin to heal our world." - Laural Virtues Wauters
What is a Mandala?
Creating a mandala is a meditative and spiritual practice.
Creating a personal mandala is an active form of meditation that opens your third eye and heart chakra elevating your mood and calming the mind. Through direct revelation you are able to access insights based your intention. The mandala process helps you make the invisible visible. Creating a mandala can shift your consciousness as you connect with your inner wisdom deep within your soul.
History of the word Mandala
The word "mandala" means "sacred circle" in Sanksrit. They are are a sacred art form that originated in the Hindu tradition. A yantra is the visual form of a Hindu prayer or mantra. Mandalas are cross-cultural and found throughout the world.
The 12th century Benedictine nun, Hildegard of Bingen, had a series of divine visions that she expressed as mandalas. Carl Jung, a Swiss Psychotherapist, experienced “sacred circles” in his dreams and saw mandalas as a way to heal the soul. Dr. Rajita Sivananda (Judith Cornell Ph.D) pioneered the use of personal healing Mandala's and saw them as a spiritual practice. Her awakening in 1979 resulted in the development of a truly original method to help others to awaken and heal at the deepest levels using black paper and colored pencils. Her process became a synthesis of Eastern and Western traditions, blending the sacred art and the spiritual science of the mandala with theories in quantum physics, raja and kundalini yoga, and transpersonal psychology. She led workshops and retreats that encouraged people to connect to their souls through the mandala.
Laural met Dr. Cornell in 2007 at Mount Madonna, California where Judith was facilitating "The Sacred Art of Awakening." Laural attended several more retreats eventually becoming a certified Mandala Facilitator in 2009. It was Judith who gave Laural the name "mandala shaman." Dr. Cornell (Rajita Sivananda) continued to mentor Laural until her passing in May 2010.
Creating a personal healing Mandala
No artistic experience or ability is needed, this is a process of stepping out of judgment and ego to allow yourself to draw from your heart. Each Mandala is themed around a subject, which will be reviewed along with a brief history of the Mandala. Before creating your mandala you will set a personal healing intention.
You will then trace around a circular template with your white pencil onto the middle of a black sheet of paper. The black paper represents the unmanifested self. The white circle is now the "container" for your Mandala. You will place a white dot within the circle representing you. This dot is the "seed" of your intention and the starting point of your mandala. You will then enter into a quiet time as you sit comfortably becoming aware of your breath, releasing all worry, anxiety or fear. You will be invited to open your third eye and your heart as you journey to receive a healing symbol or insight. You will then draw in silence for approximately one hour. Soothing music will play during this time of active meditation and manifestation.
After the creation of your Mandala, you will meditate on its message for you. You will write this on the back of the mandala. The process of integration will take place as you share your experience with the group. The closing of the class culminates as you energetically transform your mandala through a series of Aum's.
What is Shamanism?
Shamanism is a way of living and seeing.
Shamanism sees that everything and everyone is interconnected and interdependent. The world of matter and the world of spirit are one within the shamanic cosmology. There is no hierarchy, all is equally important. Today Shamanism encompasses a broad base of cultural traditions throughout the world.
History of the word Shaman
The word "shaman" originated from encounters with shramana's as they traveled out of India, into Tibet, Mongolia and Siberia. Traveling yogi's (one who yokes with spirit) were called shramana's. Buddha, the "enlightened one" was a well known shramana. His awakening to non-suffering or pacification of fear is called samana or samadhi, a state of consciousness where the mind becomes still yet is able to observe and gather information. The Evenki Tungusic (Siberian) word "saman" is based on the root word "sa" meaning "to know."
In 1692, the Dutch explorer Nicolaes Witsen wrote of his experiences living with the indigenous Tungusic and Samoyedic people of Siberia. He introduced Europe to the the word "shaman" as a way to describe a person who gains knowledge by journeying between worlds. This cosmology was often represented by a tree. The past or lower world was held in the roots, the present or middle world in the trunk, and the future or upper world in the branches. This concept was not unfamiliar, as the ancient Druids of Celtic culture also journeyed within trees. Oak trees were named "duir," the word Druid means "oakwise." Therefore a Druid was a person who knew how to open the door of an oak and journey through the different worlds to gather information.
In the 1950's a group of Laika mystics descended from the high Andes in Peru, after many years of seclusion. They lived on very little until they knew it was time to come home and help the people. Their arrival soon drew the curiosity of anthropologists, psychologists etc... Dr. Alberto Villoldo is a psychologist who studied the Laika. He founded the Four Winds Society and has written numerous books. The Andean word for shaman is Paco.
Laural studied with the Four Winds and became initiated within this Andean cosmology. Laural has also studied directly with Aldolfo Ttito Condori, an Andean Altomosayok and Jose Luis Herrera. She has also learned from contemporary shamans such as Betsy Bergstrom and Sandra Ingerman. Laural's greatest teacher has been listening to her soul and embracing her personal healing journey.
Today Shamanism is practiced in many different forms; plant medicine, energy medicine and ceremony. All are focused on healing the self through the soul. Modern shamans often incorporate behavioral psychology, Jungian philosophy and a world view on indigenous practices and traditions.
Soul - the spiritual part of a person that is believed to give life to the body and is believed to live forever: a person's deeply felt emotional nature: the ability of a person to feel kindness and sympathy for others, to appreciate beauty and art, etc.
Energy - energeia in Greek (350 BCE) energos used by Aristotle as a "force of expression." Vibrational waves of energy at various frequencies.
Medicine - medicina in Latin (1200 ACE) "the medical art" or medicinus. Healing the body, mind, soul.
Despacho - Dispatch (Andean)
A Despacho is an Andean Prayer bundle, created as a ceremonial mandala containing the intentions of the person or group that created it. There are numerous types of despachos as each situation or person is unique. The creation of a despacho is a sacred process filled with intention, gratitude and prayers. After the creation of the despacho it can be buried in the ground or gifted to water or fire in ceremony.