Saturday, April 26, 2008


Shine Mandala - (Meditation Card series) - © Sue O'Kieffe 2008
source image - rhododendron blossoms

We have magnificent brains, but we use a great deal of our brilliance to keep ourselves stuck and ignorant, to keep ourselves from not shining. We are so afraid of our beauty and radiance and brilliance because it scared the adults around us when we were children.
~ Patricia Sun

In 1989, during a time of great change and uncertainty in my life, I wrote a poem about the hurt I was allowing myself to feel. The poem ended "if I unwrapped myself, who would I be?"

It has really been a life long journey for me to discover and embrace the answers to that question. Today I encourage people as best I can to follow their hearts and do what they love. I think I read somewhere that being creative is almost a primal need. Too many have had that desire bullied out of them by well-meaning parents, insensitive art teachers, society at large. I view creation as a joyous and sacred act.

I choose the mandala form because it is a container for healing.
Carl Jung said that a mandala symbolizes a safe refuge of inner reconciliation and wholeness (from The Mandala Project). Who doesn't need that from time to time?

Do you feel that creating art gets you closer to your center? Just how do you feel about being an artist? I'd love to hear your thoughts on this subject.

Sue O'Kieffe
Sacred Circle Mandalas

p.s. you can read the lyrics to the Todd Rundgren song Healer(today's music pick) here

Sunday, April 20, 2008


breathe mandalaBreathe Mandala - (Meditation Card series) - © Sue O'Kieffe 2008
source image: flowering crab apple blossoms

You know that our breathing is the inhaling and exhaling of air. The organ that serves for this is the lungs that lie round the heart, so that the air passing through them thereby envelops the heart. Thus breathing is a natural way to the heart. And so, having collected your mind within you, lead it into the channel of breathing through which air reaches the heart and, together with this inhaled air, force your mind to descend into the heart and to remain there. ~Nicephorus the Solitary

Friday, April 18, 2008


ha ha mandalaHa Ha Mandala -pen and ink drawing-© Sue O'Kieffe 1990

The year that I created this mandala is purely a guess, but I do remember doodling it at work and feeling very good when it was finished. I was coming out of a long bout of depression, and in that moment of creation was deeply in touch with the healing power of laughter. This image was later published in a book about healing for Adult Children coming from alcoholic and other dysfunctional backgrounds.

Laughter and love are two of the most potent forces for healing I know.

Sue O'Kieffe
Sacred Circle Mandalas

Tuesday, April 15, 2008


Rejoice Mandala - (Meditation Cards series) - © Sue O'Kieffe 2008
source image - night blooming jasmine vine
Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.~ Thich Nhat Hanh

Sunday, April 13, 2008


OPENING 3Openings 1 through 3 -(Circles of Succulence)- © Sue O'Kieffe 2008
source image - echevaria

Open to me, so that I may open.
Provide me your inspiration
So that I might see mine.
~Mevlana Rumi

Real love hurts; real love makes you totally vulnerable and open; real love will take you far beyond yourself; and therefore real love will devastate you. I kept thinking, if love does not shatter you, you do not know love...
~Ken Wilber

One can not love without opening oneself, and opening oneself, that's taking the risk of suffering. One does not have control.
~Isabelle Adjani

many thanks again to Thalia for her new mandala tutorial posted today...

Saturday, April 12, 2008


glow mandalaGlow Mandala -(Meditation Card series) -© Sue O'Kieffe 2008

Both Connie Rose and John Mora passed along this wonderful Gratitude with Attitude blog award to me. I am humbled by this recognition from my friends gratitude with attitudeand artist peers.

Thalia at Audacia Muliebris has created three mandala templates inspired from the original work of Komra Moriko. For this I am grateful, and it is my pleasure to pass on this blog award for the time she took in developing these new configurations. I used one of Thalia's templates for today's mandala, which is the second of my meditation cards. Im not sure about the choice of meditation words...glow? radiate? shine? ...

Anne Christine Dennison commented about my use of black for the background of these cards. I like to use darker colors for my backgrounds to demonstrate light piercing the darkness. I love Anne's mandalas. Be sure to visit if you haven't already. Her work is bright and enchanting.

I am grateful to all of you who come by to read my blog and take the time to comment. Consider yourselves bestowed as well.

Have a glorious weekend.

Sue O'Kieffe
Sacred Circle Mandalas

Wednesday, April 09, 2008


I dont often post photographs of the flowers that I use for my mandalas. Sometimes my more appealing photographs are never even used for mandala making

With the purchase of my new camera, I want to become a better photographer. Sometime in my lifetime, I might even want to purchase a dSLR with a bonafide macro lens, since macro photography is what most interests me.
Up close and personal!

These are some of my favorite spring flowers.

From top to bottom: mallow, purple freesia, camelia, dutch iris, tulip tree blossom

Sunday, April 06, 2008


faith not fearFaith not Fear Mandala - (Meditation Deck) - © Sue O'Kieffe 2008

When I first began creating mandalas, my original vision had been to create a meditation deck. This weekend I played with more of the flower photographs I had recently shot with my new camera.

I have been wanting to create a mandala using faith as its theme for a couple of weeks, but was not sure what flower to use for the source image. Then I remembered one of my favorite Bible quotes from childhood...If ye have faith as a grain of wild mustardmustard seed, nothing will be impossible unto you.

Wild mustard is blooming in profusion right now

I will be posting a couple of other images over the course of this week and would appreciate whatever feedback you have to offer. At this point I have no idea how these cards would be produced, but I know the answer is out there.

Recently a friend said to me, Faith trumps fear every time.
Thanks, dear friend, for your inspiring words.

This and the images that will follow are just the beginning, the conception, the idea, the germination of the seed.

Thursday, April 03, 2008


night light mandalaNight Light Mandala - (Circles of Light series) - © Sue O'Kieffe 2008
source image: heather

I want to take photographs of flowers with my new camera that I have never shot before. I may need to go on a road trip to do that, because I'm pretty familiar with what blooms in my neighborhood. I did satisfy that longing yesterday with this photograph of what I think is heather. It seems I am still grooving on and being drawn to the expansiveness of purple light ... amethyst, crown chakra energies, intuitively searching out ancient information.

Thanks again to Thalia of Audacia Muliebris for creating the 13 spoke mandala template, a tricky configuration that is worthy of more of my attention.

I am excited about the new camera and the potential I am holding in my hands. Believe me, there was lots of oohing and aaahhhhing yesterday afternoon and evening as I focused and clicked and snapped my way into photographic bliss!