Mandala comes from the Sanskrit word, circle. It is used as a spiritual symbol in Hindu and Buddhism, representing unity and harmony within the universe. I find it calming and meditative to draw something so beautiful that tells a story of what was happening that day – I’ve been keeping a mandala journal since I left the U.S.
In February of 2015 I ran across a place called Neema Crafts in Tanzania, Africa – a unique organization that employs locals with disabilities – I decided to have them make some beautiful bags showcasing a few of my mandalas. Check them out along with the other organizations I’m working to help on my sister site www.crazymungo.com. Together we really can make a difference in someone else’s life.
Monkey Tales was inspired by my time at the Yoga Niketan Ashram in Rishikesh, India. Monkey’s roamed freely on the property stealing any available food, rummaging through the hanging laundry and overall, just causing lots of trouble! But they were damn cute though, and fun to watch…
Birthday Baby 37 was a little present to myself on my birthday. I had only arrived to India 5 days before – was totally new to traveling and my only friend there was the yoga instructor I met at the ashram, Venkat. I remember being in a fairly jovial mood considering I was spending my birthday virtually alone, but did feel the need to draw myself this mandala with 37 candles. But I did get an unexpected birthday gift that day – that was the day the universe gave me Siggy, my soul sister. Venkat, Siggy and I celebrated my birthday together, and it turned out to be the most beautiful day. In India, they call you “birthday baby”, that’s how this mandala got its name… Venkat kept saying, “You birthday baby!”
Infinity Energy for Jurgen
My new friend from Germany that I also met in the Rishikesh ashram was working on his thesis for a PHD in art therapy. He was having trouble staying motivated to complete it and I was inspired to draw this for him. His thesis is due the end of this month (September) and I’ll be visiting he and his partner in Germany next month, October. Go Jurgen, go Jurgen, GO!!! You can do it!!! Keep going!!
This mandala was hand painted (in much greater detail) on the ceiling at the Tushita meditation center in Dharamsala, India. In the 10 day silent retreat with no laptop, camera or phone, I had plenty of time to crank out a few ornate mandalas…
This was another mandala painted on the ceiling that inspired me to draw. Their Tibetan mandala was actually much larger, but this was all I could fit on the page…
Waves of Desire
Ok, so I had a crush on a guy that was in my 10 day Buddhist retreat, (Pretty sure that’s inappropriate, Eryn!) but we were silent, so we couldn’t speak about it – only eye contact… It was the strangest thing! Nothing ever came of it, except a good friend, but in the silence, I had my pencil and my journal to receive whatever needed to pour out…
This was drawn on the first day of the 10 day retreat waiting outside the meditation center to see if I was going to get into the class – I was on the waiting list…
Wee Organic Sister Love
Finally I got myself a real pen! These look so much better than the ones above that were done in pencil. This was drawn in Portugal at the Home Lisbon Hostel recovering after my time at the permaculture community… I drew this for a dear friend back home in the U.S. – I sent it to her for her birthday. We call each other W.O.S – wee organic sisters… Love love love to you WOS!!!
I befriended a guy from Columbia on the last night of his 14 month trip. We only got to spend a few hours getting to know one another before he flew off, but I can’t lie, I was kind of sad we didn’t get more time to get to know one another… This is the nature of traveling though – saying hello’s, then saying goodbyes…
A friend I met while in India is struggling right now and going through some really difficult times… This is for you my dear… Remember the trees growing strong from the Himalayan mountainside reaching for the sunshine – life always finds a way. Stay strong… You are your own refuge!
The more places I visit and the more connections I make, I’m finding it more difficult to say goodbyes, knowing I will likely never see these new friends again. Sometimes it just makes me cry that the beautiful experiences so true to who I am in these moments will soon only be distant memories. Saying goodbye inspired the tear drops in this design.
I am missing my Key West girlfriends, Cindy and Alecheia, after our time spent together in Italy. This mandala is for you girls… XOXOXO ❤
This mandala was inspired by my time spent in the cold Arctic Circle! Gusts of wind blew all around us on the Hurtigruten cruise ship up the Norwegian coast and across the border into Murmansk, Russia.
This mandala was inspired by a cathedral we saw in St. Petersburg, Russia. I was amazed at the architectural details and their intricate designs. Truly a signature of opulent Russian architecture at its best! Read more about my time in St. Petersburg here:
just looked at all of these in wonder as one after the other came in to view.What a gift you have.
Thank you so much Gail. It’s been a beautiful thing for me to do these mandalas as my main creative outlet since I”ve been traveling. All I needed was pen and paper and that’s about all I could carry 🙂