Mandala-Making Workshop Photos – BMCC
The term mandala is Sanskrit, and it means “circle,” which is the symbol of eternity, unity, and completeness. According to Fincher (2010), mandala means center, circumference, or magic circle. Swiss psychiatrist Carl Gustav Jung associated the mandala with the Self, the center of the total personality. He suggested that the mandala shows the natural urge to live out our potential, to fulfill the pattern of our whole personality. Growth toward wholeness is a natural process that brings to light one’s uniqueness and individuality, a process that Jung called “individuation.” Self-awareness is a central concept in career planning and development because understanding one’s self is crucial for job search success. The dilemma for many college students’ job search process is their overwhelming desire to locate any job rather than to satisfy their true passions. Thus, a job search can become a highly instrumental, task-oriented process, preventing students’ opportunity to discover themselves and their life’s purpose. The idea of bringing this sacred art, Mandala into career planning class is to help students utilize their visualization to create their career and life. The art making project is called “My Life Mandala.” Such an individual life mandala can serve as a guide with which to meet their life goals.
On Monday, March 11, 2013, Dr. Laura Lombard, Manager of University Programs and Partnerships at Rubin Museum of Art came to BMCC and conducted a mandala-making workshop in my Career Planning class. In the first 30 minutes, twenty two students learned the history and symbolic meaning of Mandala. Later, students spent 40 minutes to create their mandala-making project – “My Life Mandala”. The mandala can serve as a guide for meeting their life goals. During sharing circle afterwards, a student said, “This artwork is very colorful. Hopefully it will bring many colors into my life. This mandala will hopefully help me center myself and help me concentrate and keep me focused to do what I want to do.” Another student said, “I enjoyed making my mandala. I decided I would create two hearts that are floating toward each other. One grand heart that ties it all together represents family and finding healthy love.”
Bruner (1986) described learning as a multifaceted process in which thoughts, emotions, and actions do not occur in isolation, but are aspects of a larger, unified whole. Students’ learning supports the statement that art is an effective medium in supporting students’ learning and in building connections with subject knowledge.
Bruner, J. (1986). Actual minds, possible worlds. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Fincher, S.F. (2010). Creating mandalas: For insight, healing, and self-expression, Shambhala Publications, Inc., Boston, MA.