Lynn is a wife and mother living in the Northeast.
She is a classically trained musician and cantor in the Roman Catholic tradition.
In addition to her mandala practice, she also enjoys Centering Prayer,
yoga, Qi Gong, dancing, unpacking dreams and walks in nature.
It was suggested to me by those on a spiritual path that it would be good to write down my thoughts.
To my dismay, journaling was an absolute impossibility for me – my mind was as blank as the page in front of me.
In the spring of 2002, I went on a retreat for a few days in the desert of the southwest. While there, I planned to take a journaling workshop in the hopes that it would help me connect to my words. Oddly enough, the journaling workshop was canceled. The instructor had car trouble and couldn’t make it to the center.
The class was rescheduled and canceled again. I was given a journal and it was suggested that perhaps journaling was not for me… things happen for a reason.
A few months later, I learned about Mandalas or sacred circles, and a whole new world opened up to me. As I drew, the words came.
I have often referred to my colored pencils as ‘my words.’ This work of the heart has been a source of self-reflection and contemplation and I am grateful for the opportunity to share it with you.
One year later…2012
I recently mentioned to Sandra that this process has changed for me over time.
Last year, I purchased 12 black frames and as I completed each mandala, I would frame it. The mandalas of the past year are lined up in the meditation area of my home. Early last year, my thinking was more month-to-month.
As the year progressed I began to see connections between months and began to think seasonally – in part because they were always in front of me as a whole unit. I had thought that as I approached the new year this past spring, I would empty the frames to make space for the year ahead. But as I got closer to March 20th, I realized that there were still connections to the past year going beyond the season.
So I decided to keep the year intact and would empty only one season at a time. So in the final days of the winter season, I emptied out the frames for the spring months and so forth. It’s funny, I find that as I put the last mandala for each season in its frame, there is a strong need to make room for the coming season and the next set is immediately emptied out.
As to content of the journal writing, I have been realizing that the events of my life are connecting to this “HeART-work” in a very profound way so I decided to keep a journal – making and dating entries as things strike me.
I remember SO much more by making these journal entries and am better able to analyze the events of the month. I’m still learning the language of symbolism and truly I think that my education will continue until I breathe my last.
The same story is being told not only in front of me in the art, but also around me in the circumstances of my daily life, to the point now where as we enter the final days of each moon cycle, I begin to become aware of what’s coming next. Images, stories, quotes, and words begin to filter in and define the next cycle before I even see the new mandala template. And, as I wrote in the Taurus 2012 Journal entry, I am no longer surprised to see what I find in the next template.
What began as a way to connect to myself, has become a way to connect to the greater story around me – the awareness of and the connection to the on-going conversation available to us all if only we have the eyes to see it – of a transcendent love that guides and inspires, and our role in manifesting that love to others.
I post my Journal entry for the last cycle, along with the corresponding Mandala at each New Moon. You can read my Mandala Journal entries by clicking on this link. The journal entries from April 2011 through March 2015 are in the process of being archived, meanwhile all of my mandalas are on display in Lynn Keefer’s Mandala Gallery.
Over the years, I have shortened my Mandala Journal entries and opened a Facebook page where I put inspirational quotes, photos, and the occasional throwback mandala throughout the month. Please come and “Like” the page. If you don’t want to miss anything, be sure to press “Like” again and select “get notifications.” Hope to see you there!
Love and Blessings,