Mandala is a Sanskrit word meaning circle or center. Ritual mandalas are used by Buddhist monks in Tibet as a focus of meditation and the journey toward enlightenment. In contrast to these formal ritual mandalas, Carl Jung introduced our western culture to a more organic form — the personal mandala. These mandalas are spontaneously drawn providing windows into our own internal experience.
Individually, a mandala provides a reflection of one’s internal state. Viewed in sequence, they provide visual records of our journeys. They are all visual reflections of the experience of being human. I will share some of my own experiences with mandala-making and provide an opportunity for others to have their own experience.
We all know the feeling of shame, don’t we? But what is it?
And what happens to us when we feel it? How does it affect us?
What can we do when we feel it?
Come and contemplate this very human experience.
Join the First Parish pagan group as we celebrate Lammas, also known as Lughnasadh and First Fruits, comes from the Anglo-Saxon hlaf-mas, “loaf-mass”. It is a Cross Quarter Day, along with Halloween, Groundhog Day and May Day, half way between the solstices and the equinoxes. It is the first of the three harvest festivals and celebrates the reaping of the grain. In Gaelic traditions it is called Lughnasadh in honor of the Celtic blacksmith god Lugh.
The Gifts of Mortality
What would you do if you know you or someone you loved were going to die tomorrow? And what would you do if instead you were granted immortality? If your answers to those questions were different, you are not alone. Whether you believe in an afterlife or not, the fact of our mortality challenges us to be our best selves, today, where we are and however we are. How we view our mortality – as a friend or enemy, with curiosity or with fear, face on or in denial – also affects how we live each precious day of our lives. The National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization Statement of Philosophy explains, “Hospice recognizes that human growth and development can be a lifelong process. Hospice seeks to preserve and promote the inherent potential for growth within individuals and families during the last phase of life.” We will explore different views of this last phase of life and, privately, our own feelings to consider how they may be impacting our lives and allowing, or preventing, us from being our best selves each day.