Sunday, September 30, 2007

Hints and Tips for Smudging

If you are unfamiliar with smudging, here are some hints and tips for a better, safer experience:

  • Protect your hands. The smudge stick gets HOT, make sure use a heat-proof bowl, Abalone Shell or place sand in the bottom of a clay bowl, you need to prevent the heat generated at the tip from scalding your hands.

  • Cinders will fall from the smudge stick as it burns - some of which may still be hot enough to burn - so it is important to use a rest of some kind.

  • Disable or turn off smoke alarms before smudging indoors - and then remember to turn them back on when you are done.

  • Smudge sticks can be difficult to light, so you may find it easier to use a candle, cigarette lighter or taper. These will keep a flame longer and give you a better chance of getting your smudge stick going.

  • Walk in an anti-clockwise direction for banishing and a clockwise direction for attraction.

  • Avoid smudging around people with respiratory problems.

  • Never leave a smouldering smudge stick unattended.

  • Ensure the smudge stick is extinguished fully, before leaving it or putting it away.

  • Do not extinguish the smudge stick in water, this will ruin it. Instead, smother it by pushing the burning end firmly into a container of sand or fine salt.

  • Smudging is often used in conjunction with a chant, or prayer - your choice.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

What is a smudge?

Smudging is a form of cleansing a room, an object, or physical body or place, of negarive energy. With smudging, the vital element is the smoke produced from burning sacred herbs. It is the smoke that binds with the negative energies and carries them away, purifying and cleansing in it's wake.

Smudging is often performed to clear a sacred space before rituals, you can also smudge yourself to to cleanse and purify - especially if you have been weighed down with stress and worry. Smudging is commonly used to cleanse crystals, before dedicating them for healing, and periodically to remove the energies they pick up from doing their work.

Sometimes life creates stresses within families, plunging them into bickering disharmony. Smudging is wonderful for cleansing the whole atmosphere and restoring balance and harmony. Smudging is akin to 'wiping the slate clean' before imprinting your own energies on it.

You can smudge just about anything that needs cleansing. If you move into a new home, it is nice to cleanse it of any residual energies from the previous tenants before perhaps blessing it to create harmony and peace.

Herbs traditionally used in a smudge are sage and sweetgrass, but many other herbs and fragrant grasses can be used. Insense and essential oils can also be used. Choose what "feels" right, and do some research into the meanings and the effects of whatever you decide to use.

Hints and tips on safe smudging can be found here.

Friday, September 28, 2007


I'm tired of you being brave
Turn your face to me
And feel the skin peel off your skin
Hear the shell crack and smell the yolk

That murky film between your eyes and your eyes?
It melts – weep like a fool, loudly and in public
with shame and without shame, either or both
Now, finally, you are beautiful – on your knees, torn down and so, so fresh…

~Grace Gibson

Attitude Mandala

Thursday, September 27, 2007

The Guest

The Guest is inside you, and also inside me;
you know the sprout is hidden inside the seed.
We are all struggling; none of us has gone far.
Let your arrogance go, and look around inside.


Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Maha Mrityunjay Mantra Wallpaper

For your desktop today we have a Shiva Linga and the Shiva Mantra.


It is said that chanting of Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra(Shiva Mantra) generates divine vibrations that ward off all the negative and evil forces and creates a powerful protective shield protecting the one who chants against accidents and misfortunes of every kind. Recitation of the mantra creates vibration that pulsates through every cell, every molecule of human body and tears away the veil of ignorance....

... I'm so sorry to do this to you, but this post has been moved to my new website, Meditation, hosted at, and can be found in its entirety here: The Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Fertility Mandalas

These beautiful batik mandala paintings depict the Shiva Linga encompassed by the Lotus Flower. The Linga is representative of the "divine phallus" and fertility. The Lotus symbolizes ... and the serpent represents the the power that enables seeds to germinate and animals to conceive. More batik paintings can be found at Exotic India.

... more mandala art and inspiration can be found at my new website, Mandala Madness, hosted at

Sunday, September 23, 2007

The Shiva Linga

To give tangible shape to the idea of Shiva is not easy. He is after all, Maheshvara, the greatest embodiment of godhead, the cosmic spirit. Most people prefer to worship a symbol, one that fills the mind with awe and gives shape in the unconscious to the fabulous idea behind the image....

... I am so sorry to do this to you, but this post has been moved to my new website, Mandala Madness, hosted at, and can be found in its entirety here: The Shiva Linga Mandala

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Hold out if you think you can
Hide if you'd like
Love will eat hiding and holding
Love will eat anything to have you

~Grace Gibson

... more mandala art and inspiration can be found at my new website, Mandala Madness, hosted at

Friday, September 21, 2007

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Clouds of Love

Says Kabir:
the clouds of love have gathered,
raining over me,
my soul soaked within,
green woods around....

... I am so sorry to do this to you, but this post has been moved to my new website, Mandala Madness, hosted at, and can be found in its entirety here: Clouds of Love

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Marriage is...

Marriage is the union of disparate elements. Male and female. Yin and yang. Proton and electron. What are we talking about here? Nothing less than the very tension that binds the universe. You see, when we look at marriage, people, we're are looking at creation itself.

"I am the sky," says the Hindu bridegroom to the bride. "You are the earth. We are sky and earth united.... You are my husband. You are my wife. My feet shall run because of you. My feet shall dance because of you. My heart shall beat because of you. My eyes see because of you. My mind thinks because of you and I shall love because of you."

~Andrew Schneider, Northern Exposure

... more cool quotes can be found at my new website, Mandala Madness, hosted at

Monday, September 17, 2007

Marriage Mandalas

To the people of Madhubani, marriage is an important ritual. Special motifs are painted on the wall in the kohbar ghar (the place where the nuptial night is arranged).

These kohbar paintings often have a lotus motif pierced by a bamboo shaft representing sexual union of the bride and the bridegroom. Parrots, which represent the lovers, are often painted around the rim of the central lotus mandala....

... I am so sorry to do this to you, but this post has been moved to my new website, Mandala Madness, hosted at, and can be found in it's entirety here: About Madhubani Marriage Mandalas, a separate gallery of Marriage Mandala Art can be found here: Madhubani Marriage Mandalas.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Going Home

There was a child made all of salt who very much wanted to know where he had come from. So he set out on a long journey and traveled to many lands in pursuit of this understanding.

Finally he came to the shore of a great ocean. How marvelous, he cried, and stuck one foot in the water. The ocean beckoned him in further saying, "If you wish to know who you are, do not be afraid." The salt child walked further and further into the water dissolving with each step, and at the end exclaimed, "Ah, now I know who I am."

~ancient teaching story
Let Thought Become Your
Beautiful Lover

Let thought become the beautiful Woman.

Cultivate your mind and heart to that depth

That it can give you everything
A warm body can....

... I am so sorry to do this to you, but this post has been moved to my new website, Mandala Madness, hosted at, and can be found in its entirety here: Your Beautiful Lover

Mandala of Auspicious Elements

A Maithila painting.

This mandala is rich in symbolism and is directly connected to the kohbar wall paintings for auspicious marriage. This painting, and many more can be found at Exotic India.

The parrots symbolize the love birds and they feature constantly as images of the bride and bridegroom in folk songs and poetry. They are an inseperable element in Maithila paintings representing the happy lovers. Encircling the parrots is a ring of fishes, brightly coloured in variety of patterns. The fishes are emblems of fertility and proliferation and thus an essential symbol of 'kohbar' paintings. Beautiful drawn and painted lotus flowers occupy the remaining space. The lotus signifies fertility and auspiciousness. since, it is associated with goddess Lakshmi, it is personified as the bride desirous of the qualities possessed by the goddess.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Let the waters settle


Let the waters settle
you will see stars and moon
mirrored in your Being.


Thursday, September 13, 2007

As Without - So Within

The mandala is one of the most potent symbols of humankind. Its circular form and concentric structure reflect the shape of the universe outside and the sense of perfection within. Mandalas are seen as sacred places which, by their very presence in the world, remind a viewer of the immensity and the sanctity of the universe and its potential in oneself.

In the Buddhist tradition, the purpose of a mandala is to put an end to human suffering, to attain enlightenment and to attain a correct view of Reality. It is a means to discover divinity by the realization that it resides within one's own self. Concentration on its form and content is an aid to prayer and meditation, leading eventually to a complete at-oneness with the world. At the center of every mandala is the Bindhu; the point, which is the symbol of emptiness.

Shown below, is an interpretation of The Cosmic Mandala from a mural painting at a wall of the Zong in Paro-Bhutan. It is an abstract form representing the the primary movement of the universe, the cosmic motion of the planets and the elements.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Peace Mandala

From World Peace Village, we have this special mandala project for world peace.

Here's how it works:
  • Print the picture of the peace mandala.
  • Choose some favorite music.
  • Color the mandala and feel the peace and centeredness.
  • Pause periodically and send that peace out to the world family.
  • The finished mandala can be cut out and mounted on tag board and placed in a special spot to remind you to send peace to the world.

(to download, click to enlarge the image, then right click and "save as"... you can then save the image to your desk top, print and color it)

More mandalas can be ordered from
Monique Mandali

Visit World Peace Village
where every breath is a prayer and every step is peace.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007


Your mouth says you want me…
When the rest of you agrees
I’ll be there.

~Grace Gibson

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Most people

Most people have come to prefer certain of life’s experiences and deny and reject others, unaware of the value of the hidden things that may come wrapped in plain and even ugly paper. In avoiding all pain and seeking comfort at all costs, we may be left without intimacy or compassion; in rejecting change and risk we often cheat ourselves of the quest; in denying our suffering we may never know our strength or our greatness.

~Rachel Naomi Remen

Saturday, September 08, 2007

A collection of Mandalas

Host unlimited photos at for FREE!


A collection of mandalas for your desktop - my gift to you.

This image is hosted at Slide. When you download this wallpaper, the word "slide" is not going to be anywhere on it. To download, click the image. A window will open to the photo page at Slide. Right click the picture and choose "save target as". Save the picture to your "My Pictures" folder. To set it as wallpaper, open your "My Pictures" folder, right click on the mandala image and choose "set as background". Enjoy!

Desktop wallpaper by Shirley Gibson

Friday, September 07, 2007

Laughing At the Word Two


That Illumined

Who keeps
Seducing the formless into form

Had the charm to win my

Only a Perfect One

Who is always
Laughing at the word

Can make you know




Thursday, September 06, 2007

Earth Harmony Mandalas

Aloe Star


Bee in Noni Flower

Kamani Leaf

Small Plants

These beautiful mandalas were created by Mark using photographs he took while living in Hawaii. You can find really nice things that he has created with his mandala art at Cafe Press. He also has a website: Earth Harmony Home.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Remembering Who You Are

Sit in an upright position in a chair, with your back straight, feet flat on the floor, and hands comfortably in your lap. If you wish, play soft inspirational or sacred music in the background.

Slowly take three deep breaths. On each exhalation, release all tension or negative thoughts from your mind and body.

Keeping your heart open and receptive, close your eyes. Imagine a ball of rainbow-colored light at the top of your head. Visualize it descending into the center of your brain.

Concentrate on that glowing energy, and direct it down through your neck and into your heart, feeling warmth and love. Continue directing it downward into your stomach and the rest of your organs and finally down through your legs to the soles of your feet and into the ground.

Now visualize this healing and centering energy and light coming back up from the ground and up the back of your legs. Slowly direct it up through the core of your spine and back into your head.

Imagine yourself being lifted gently into the universe. Keeping a sense of your meditative posture, see and feel yourself floating gently in outer space, surrounded by the stars and planets.

Realize that your body and the manifest universe are an inseparable cosmic creation of vibrating atomic polarities.

Realize that all the atoms in your physical body are billions of years old - composed from the exploding light of ancient stars and other electromagnetic energies.

Imagine yourself being pulled into a black hole of radiation, going past time and space into the dark womb of the universe. The silence of this black hole is beyond description - it is intelligence, as yet unthinking. Experience the peace and bliss of this all-pervasive intelligence.

Imagine this intelligence beginning to think and creatively to dream. Suddenly you experience a roaring sound and a spark of visible light spreads. Somehow originating in the sound, the light begins to radiate throughout the darkness. Creation has begun. You perceive vast clouds of many-colored lights that are the formation of galaxies and all the other creations of Earth, including your physical body.

Imagine yourself as the soul within the human body and that the sun's rainbow-colored light is entering into your physical body. Now imagine streams of electromagnetic energy and waves of visible light pouring out of your body and creatively interweaving with the streams of energy that compost the universe.

Meditate for a momentum this web of light streams that connects your soul, mind, and physical body to the universe. Realize that through the divine inner light of your consciousness you are participating in the creation of this tapestry of light and life.

Gently bring your focus back to the planet Earth and the spot you occupy physical. See with new eyes.

~from Mandala by Judith Cornell
art by Shirley Gibson

Tuesday, September 04, 2007


A great mountain sage sits in his cave – smiling
A seeker seeks him out and asks
Master, what can I do to attain what you have attained?

A year goes by while the sage waits for a reply to come to him
The stars and moon and sun and clouds wheel around his head
And not a single thought crosses his mind

The same year goes by for the seeker
He prides himself on his patient endurance of such a severe test
Surely this is the straight and narrow path, he thinks to himself

At last the sage focuses his eyes and clears his throat
I have done all I can do to answer you, he says…
And still after a year you hold onto that need to attain perfection

The seeker suffers the shock of that reply and staggers blindly from the cave –
And there, confronted by a ring of mountains draped in blue snow
He stops caring about enlightenment

And there, with his bare feet on cold stone he wakes…

~Grace Gibson

Sunday, September 02, 2007

We are

We are all of us, creatures of parts, used to beginnings, middles, and ends because our lives are divided that way, and our language... follows the same logic... But the spirit is one and undivided, without parts, not chained to beginnings or middles or ends, and thus not dependent upon sequential reasoning... it's province, it's everything is wholeness.

~Barry Ulanov

Saturday, September 01, 2007


Host unlimited photos at for FREE!
Be still and know


A lovely desktop wallpaper to bring some peace into your day.

This image is hosted at Slide. When you download this wallpaper, the word "slide" is not going to be anywhere on it. To download, click the image. A window will open to the photo page at Slide. Right click the picture and choose "save target as". Save the picture to your "My Pictures" folder. To set it as wallpaper, open your "My Pictures" folder, right click on the mandala image and choose "set as background". It's really easy, but if you have any problems, let me know, and I'll do what I can to help. Enjoy!

Desktop wallpaper by Shirley Gibson
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