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    Mandalas & Dreams


    The word Mandala (pronunciation mon- dah- lah) means “circle”.  A Mandala represents wholeness and appears to us in all aspects of life. The earth, the sun, the moon and the circles of life made up of our friends, family and communities, are all common mandalas.

    The circle represents the infinite nature of our essence. The Hindus, Buddhists, Native Americans and other spiritual teachers use the mandala as a mediation tool. Psychotherapist, Carl Jung used mandalas daily in his personal and professional life as a way to access the Inner Self. 

    I often compare the mandala to a telescope. What appears in the mandala drawing offers magnified glimpses into the soul.

    “Wise Woman” Mandala by Patti Ashley, completed at theWake Up to Your Dreams Retreat, October 6, 2013

    “WiseWoman” Mandala by Patti Ashley~October 6, 2013

    In my psychotherapy practice I use the mandala in several ways:

    1) I provide you an opportunity to draw a mandala individually or with a group, using some techniques based on the work of mandala artists, Paul Heussenstamm  and Judith Cornell, Ph.D.

    2) I also offer 90 minute Mandala Assessments (MARI) based on the research of art therapist Joan Kellogg.

    Following in the footsteps of Carl Jung, Joan Kellogg developed a mandala card test (MARI) based on collective images that appeared in her client’s mandala drawings. Many of my clients find the MARI card test enlightening and helpful on the journey of self-discovery. My dear friend and MARI colleague, Stephanie Ross, has defined the MARI on her web page so wonderfully, I asked her if I could share! See Below–

    Thanks, Stephanie!

    What is the MARI assessment?

    MARI (the Mandala Assessment Research Instrument) is a Jungian- based, psycho-spiritual assessment tool that promotes self-discovery and transformational growth. MARI provides useful information about you – information that you can use to live with greater authenticity, intention, purpose, and contentment.

    Why is unconscious information important?

    The stuff we think about – ideas, facts, expectations – fill our conscious minds and impact how we live our lives. Our unconscious is also filled with stuff – feelings, thoughts, images that we are unaware of day-to-day. This valuable unconscious information often reflects a more authentic, truer self – our essence. Knowing the wisdom of essence provides profound insight and guidance, which can lead to more authentic living and greater happiness. But, tapping into this often hidden source of knowledge and wisdom can be difficult. MARI makes accessing and understanding this information easy.

    How does MARI work?

    By selecting cards to create symbol and color combinations, you capture a snapshot of your psyche – your current conscious and unconscious state. This snapshot brings to light a rich portrait of feelings, attitudes, and thoughts. You are literally able to “see” what is happening in your unconscious. Together, we investigate what this deep wisdom and authentic information mean for you.

    What are the benefits of MARI?

    Bringing unconscious information into consciousness allows for greater awareness, self-actualization and often, significant change. The healing benefits and rewards of MARI are many:

    • Insights, understanding from a fresh perspective
    • Resolution of issues, concerns and problems
    • Greater contentment and success
    • Improved health and well-being
    • Personal growth and transformation

    Contact me to schedule a MARI card test or individual mandala drawing session. Mandala drawing workshops are offered once or twice each year. Check my events page for updates.

    Dream Analysis

    I have been working with my own dreams and the dreams of others for over thirty years. I find them much like the mandala~ a window to the soul.

    I have been very fortunate to have studied with the late Jeremy Taylor, a founding member and past president of The International Association of the Study of Dreams. Jeremy’s model blends the values of spirituality with an active social conscience and a Jungian perspective. He wrote many books about integrating dream symbolism, mythology, and archetypal energy, includingThe Wisdom of Your Dreams: Using Dreams to Tap Into Your Unconscious and Transform Your Life. His earlier books – The Living Labyrinth: Universal Themes in MythsDreams and the Symbolism of Waking Life; Where People Fly and Water Runs Uphill; and Dream Work.

    My favorite local dream-worker and soulful friend is Billie Ortiz. Billie offers weekly dream groups and bi-yearly dream retreats. I highly recommend a dose of Billie for your soul!

    I use dreams in my psychotherapy practice as they arise for my clients. They seem to provide much insight and useful information aligned with each individual’s health and wholeness.