Monday, May 31, 2010

Light as a Fairy Mandala

Light as a Fairy Mandala (Circles of Healing) © Sue O'Kieffe 2010
source image: kenilworth ivy

As far back as I can remember I have been captivated by the teeny tiny flowers on this planet. I love their delicate itty bittyness. These are the blooms that  put me nose to nose with nature; and when I think about it I'm sure it was my fascination with these flowers in my childhood that first put me in touch with nature spirits, devas and fairies. I didn't really have a name for it then, but I sure felt their spritely energies. Kenilworth ivy, the source image for this mandala is considered an invasive and noxious weed by gardeners, but I think its adorable; and it got my attention one Sunday morning while I was roaming around the hood.

I love how the shadow and light in the photo translated into the mandala

The eleven points of the mandala help us in developing our intuitive natures, to listen deeply and feel much. Green is a color of  the heart and reminds us of our connection to nature. Fairies love those who take care of nature and clean up the environment. They like nice homes too. Purple's healing color is available to uplift , to soothe and mend.

When I feel into this mandala I am energized and rejuvenated. I get the message to lighten up. I hear the fairies laughing and playing and dancing  around the heartspace of the circle.

Do you have a connection with the fairies? I'd love to hear your stories.

Bright blessings

Sue O'Kieffe
Sacred Circle Mandalas

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Resonant Heart Healing Cards

(If you are reading this blog post from your inbox, I hope you will come to Sacred Circle Mandalas to view the slideshow I have posted here.)

I've known Pamir Kiciman online for a little over a year through following him both on Twitter and Facebook. (Did you read my interview of him last week?) Sometime this spring I became aware how much his writing touched my heart, and I envisioned his writing on my greeting cards. When I approached him about collaborating on a greeting card project, I was overjoyed when he said yes. We came to agreement on each mandala chosen for the cards. Pamir chose the theme of healing for our project,  and I agreed. Pamir wrote the message on the cards specifically for each mandala image, which is part of why I think they are so special. I can't begin to describe how healing this project has been for me. If you spend time with them,  I'm sure you will recognize the blessings contained within each card.

I've so-o-o-o looked forward to sharing these cards with you. Right now these Resonant Heart Healing Cards are available in my shop on Etsy, and I expect they will be available locally before too long. Cards in the shop are $4 each or $25 for the set of seven plus shipping and applicable tax. Do you know someone who would be blessed by the healing offered in the mandala art and messages on these cards? Or maybe you want to offer a blessing to yourself. 

These cards are the beginning of my desire to focus more and more on the subject of healing and being a healer. I'll write more about this in the days to come.

As always, my friends, bright blessings to you on your path!

Sue O'Kieffe
Sacred Circle Mandalas

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Forest Wisdom Mandala

Forest Wisdom Mandala (Healing Mandala Series) © Sue O'Kieffe 2010
source image: fiddlehead fern

Earlier this week I shared my walk in nature with you. The experience was powerful because I really listened to everything around me. I wanted to hear! When I was culling through the photos I had taken, I was especially struck by this image of fiddlehead ferns. I liked viewing the fronds as natural venetian blinds of the forest, creating a portal into another, more subtle layer of the woodland floor.

The mandala that emerged is also subtle, calming, soothing and somewhat yummy. There is just something about these eleven petalled mandalas that speaks directly to my spirit, and my intuition continues to guide me to create mandalas with eleven points.Eleven is a magical, mystical number that represents illumination and deep insight.Can you hear the creek waters singing and the happy buzz of hummingbirds as the zip by when you look into this mandala? What do you feel or see or hear when you breathe into this circle?

I chose to surround this mandala in a foggy mist as a reminiscence of the environment so many mornings here on the North Coast of California. The soft lavendar color is also mystical and healing.

Fiddlehead fern unfurls from a tight spiral  to finally reach out to the world. The message it offers in mandala form is Never stop growing. Continue to expand. Shine with your own special light. Be loving to yourself as well as to each other. Be happy.  We are all one.

Bright blessings

Sue O'Kieffe
Sacred Circle Mandalas

Forest Wisdom Mandala is available on Etsy!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Interview with Pamir Kiciman, Reiki Master

Social networks like Twitter and Facebook give us an opportunity to connect with people we would otherwise never meet. Just a little over a year ago I found Pamir Kiciman on Twitter, at a time when I was curious not only about Twitter and how to use it, but also when I was looking for ways to enhance my own spiritual path. Shortly after that, I discovered Pamir offered a monthly Reiju blessing through his blog . Pamir describes Reiju as an offering of spiritual consciousness and energy. It’s a spiritual boost, divine blessing, and transfer of spiritual/healing energy. Reiju aligns any area of your life that you identify as central at this time. I have participated in Reiju  for a year. I look forward to the beginning of each month now, when the blessings are held; they continue to be a significant part of my healing path. When Pamir finally joined Facebook, I learned even more about him as healer, poet and lover of trees. Pamir is thoughtful, inviting, and thorough. I am honored to call him teacher and friend.

I invited Pamir to come speak about Reiki, healing, and enlightenment. Be sure to check out his blog, where he writes about many topics related to healing and transformation. Every time I interact with Pamir, I come away with new perspectives. Maybe you will too. Please welcome Pamir Kiciman, the Soul Whisperer, to Sacred Circle Mandalas.

  1. What is Reiki? 

Reiki is a wisdom tradition. A wisdom tradition is an enlightenment teaching based on perennial truths. Reiki is founded on specific spiritual meditations its founder, Usui Sensei, recommended. It's an inner path to personal mastery and spiritual evolution. The popularized hands-on practice of Reiki is also founded on this same, embodied wisdom ground. Otherwise, hands-on Reiki is merely a disjointed practice without any depth consciousness to uphold it. I took great care to detail this in my extensive article: Modern Reiki.

    2.  Would you please speak to why you view Reiki as a lifestyle rather than an alternative healing modality?
The mind tends to categorize and reduce things. Even in its hands-on application, Reiki is never a modality. "Modality" makes it sound like a #3 wrench you pull out of your toolbox. Reiki is a 'way.' It's a spiritual practice and discipline. And like any other true path, to be supremely effective it has to become a lifestyle. Otherwise, it's no different than a band-aid, a temporary solution.

    3. How did you come to work with Reiki? Why Reiki rather any other healing form?

I came to work with Reiki in seeking answers to my own suffering. I prefer Reiki because it comes through and not from you. This is so vital. And the learning in Reiki is experiential and embodied, both during the training and one's own practice.

For example, when giving Reiki to others the practitioner is not required to visualize healing energy, direct it to a certain place in a certain way, give it a color; we're not in the business of balancing either. The properly trained practitioner isn't actively involved, isn't in 'doing' mode, isn't making decisions about which imbalances or energies to remove and which to put in. That kind of practice, seen in other therapies which are actual modalities, is an intellectual and mechanical approach to healing. So much can be said about this...

    4. How would you define healing?

There's an impulse to understand and it's what makes us human, but as soon as we try to define something, we reduce it. The best way to see into the mystery of healing is to be in its presence. When we do that, healing emerges as an utter rule-bender, concept-buster, unshackler, and freedom-granter. Healing is a revolutionary! It's always on the leading edge of possibility and reveals the full spectrum of the horizon.

    5. What benefits have your students reported receiving from knowing how to work with this energy?

I'd like to take this opportunity to lay to rest the misinformation that Reiki is "energy," "energy healing," "hands-on energy work," or any variety of similar iterations.

While energy is a pervasive facet of life, it simply cannot exist without the even subtler backdrop of consciousness. Consciousness here isn't, "a blow to the head rendered him unconscious," but the primordial state of Being.

The reason Reiki can lead to enlightenment is because when the full set of practices are given to the practitioner, each application of Reiki is a dipping into nonduality or Oneness. Consciousness in this sense is the substratum of creation. Consciousness is the source of energy and matter. Practicing Reiki only at the layer of energy is like having a bicycle with no pedals.

Fortunately, Reiki is extremely user-friendly! Its benefits are directly available almost immediately and deepen with time for lifelong enrichment. Reiki is so life-changing that to list how students benefit would be encyclopedic. That's why I started curating Reiki stories. The growing collection can be found in the Reiki Stories Project on my blog.

    6. What is Reiki's place in mainstream medicine?    

That really depends on medicine! It also depends on the health consumer's personal choice. I can say this: Reiki is affordable, preventive, and effective even years after the fact. It's noninvasive and without known contraindications. Where health insurance is concerned, Reiki is an option that never drops you or denies you for preexisting conditions.

I was the only non-medical presenter speaking as a Reiki professional at a medical conference last year. Significant portions of that presentation can be found on my YouTube channel.

At the same time, to practice Reiki only 'medically' is to miss out on its far-reaching riches.

    7. How is Reiki compatible with healing art like mandalas?

First, creativity and spirituality are sisters; one flows into the other naturally. Second, Reiki blends with and enhances whatever else you may be pursuing to better yourself, others and life in general. Where mandala art is concerned, like mandalas Reiki is archetypal, it accesses and addresses the cosmic common denominator. Both effect change in the matrix of life.

One of the most important factors in having an optimal inner and thus outer life, is the impressions we allow in through the five senses. In our wireless, mobile world impressions have unprecedented access to us. There's just so much atmospheric noise, and actual violence and negativity seeping in through our senses. This affects the quality of our thinking, the vibrancy of our health, and the resonance of the heart.

Reiki has the ability to charge our living, working and playing environments with Light, and keep them purified. This can also be achieved by hanging mandala art on your walls. Of course, you have to do so with awareness and appreciate the image with understanding. If you hang it to match your couch, that's all it will do!

There are many opportunities to spiritualize life and all must be taken. Otherwise external forces hold sway and life becomes dull, even impossible.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Come for a Walk

(If you are reading this blog post through email, please come to the blog to view this slideshow)

Nature is my source of nurture and has been since I was a little girl. Last week I went exploring a nature trail I'd never been on before, the Widow White Creek Watershed. This five square mile area nestled in an urban area  acts as a sort of bathtub, draining water to a common point, the Mad River Estuary, before it reaches the Pacific Ocean.

It was early morning when I went out, and  I was immersed in this green heaven for almost two hours. I was inspired to purchase a larger memory card for my camera so the next time I go out I can also record the sounds of peaceful water, wind in ancient trees, robins expressing joy. I felt totally connected to my surroundings; everything was bright and sparkly, and I felt alive and brand new. It was magic.

Thanks for taking this walk with me.

Bright blessings,
Sue O'Kieffe
Sacred Circle Mandalas

Saturday, May 15, 2010

The Brilliance of Gratitude

If you can just appreciate each thing, one by one, then you will have pure gratitude. Even though you observe just one flower, that one flower includes everything. --Shunryu Suzuki Rosh

Expressing gratitude is a way of spending spiritual currency. It is something we have in abundance; we will never be gratitude poor. It is one way of acknowledging the blessings in our life. Sometimes I even experience joy when I am grateful. This is certainly not a new concept; but it is one that I practice on a regular basis, and it is a foundation of my spiritual belief system. It keeps me connected to those around me and keeps me from taking stuff for granted. This love exchange is one way that I  see how we are all in this together.

Love's Brilliance Mandala (Love Series) © Sue O'Kieffe 2010
source image: broom shrub

How great for me that I get to introduce these wonderful people to you!

Way back in March Dana Weekley, another awesome mandala creatress, interviewed me for her blog at Nine Tomatoes. (I just love the tag line for her mandala business  - Entertainment for Your Third Eye!) Being interviewed is really alot of fun. Go see her amazing energetic mandalas on Zazzle (they make me go boing-g-g-g-g). You can read the interview here.

Pamir Kiciman, a Reiki Master, recently  interviewed me on his  Reiki Help Blog. I sure do hope you will read his thoughts on the significance of mandala art as well as my responses to his very thoughtful questions. You can find the interview here. (And please stay tuned for my interview of Pamir, which I should be posting in the next couple of days!)

Finally, a couple of days ago Clare Goodwin of Clare Goodwin's Mandala Page asked if she could showcase Sacred Circle Mandalas for her mandala site of the month in her monthly newsletter.Way back in my early days of investigating mandala making and digital mandalas and anything having to do with mandalas online, it seemed like all roads led to Clare. She and her husband have been online since 1996. They not only  have an amazing website where they have collected tons of mandala resources, but they have also developed mandala making software. You can find out more about everything and sign up for their monthly newsletter right here.

I hope you will remember to express gratitude as often as possible. See if you don't feel better and more expanded in the circle of your life.

Sue O'Kieffe
Sacred Circle Mandalas

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Mandalas and Intuition

bursting with love mandalaBursting with Love (Love Series) © Sue O'Kieffe
source image: white hydrangea blossomswhite hydrangea

While I was creating this mandala, my intuition spoke to me in a very soft voice "Every moment is a drop of gold." This was my intuition's response to my musing about how much I had boosted the color of the mandala from a sort of greyish blue up to the ambery tones you see here now.

Last night I began a three week course, offered free by David Morelli, on developing intuition. I have always considered myself to be intuitve and even say so in my profile description. But I know there are times when I don't know how to access my intuition very well. I know how to access fear quite well, and I know how to make decisions quite well based on "reason." At one point during the guided meditation David was leading, I shifted my body to give my throat chakra more clearance, and in my mind's eye I saw this mandala over my throat. Golden light filled the mandala and poured forth. It was my body wisdom showing me to use my voice respectfully.In the five years that I have been creating mandalas, I have not really used them for my own self care. It was an awesome and validating experience.

On the side bar over there to the right there is a sign up for this class. Even though it has already begun, you can still sign up and David will send you a link to last night's recorded session. These three classes are absolutely free. I know it almost sounds too good to be true, and you might view it with some scepticism. There will be an opportunity to work deeper with David, and that of course will not be free. But these classes are absolutely free and carry no obligation with them any further than your own commitment. How awesome is that? Juicy awesome, I'd say.

For myself, I want to learn more and get to more of who I am. And I am seriously grateful to David Morelli for his sincere desire to offer these classes to humanity to help us wake up. Big shifts are happening, and we need tools to help us keep up with these changes.

Bright blessings to you on your path

Sue O'Kieffe
Sacred Circle Mandalas

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Arts Alive was Alive with Magic!

Sue O'Kieffe at Art of WineSue O'Kieffe at Art of Wine, Eureka CA May 1-31

Hallelujah! I had so much fun at the Arts Alive! reception last Saturday at Art of Wine in Eureka, CA. The show will be up through the end of the month and may actually be extended to the end of June. I will keep you updated on that. If you live in Humboldt County and missed the opening, I hope you will swing by Old Town and take a look at some amazing photography and digital art.

The show was the culmination of seven months of planning, deciding, learning how to mount and frame art. The icing was the show itself and having an opportunity to talk with the folks who came in for a little wine and a whole lot of art. I loved watching people be mesmerized and engaged by the art itself, and hearing how some pieces spoke to them at a level of heart and soul. This is always my intention with my art, and I just get all giddy when other people feel that too.

Thanks go out again to Victoria Ryan, who had the vision for this show and was a most excellent curator. I had hoped to take a lot of photos to post here on my blog, but it was too distracting the night of the show. This photo was taken the day of the hanging. Yes, I was definitely glowing.

All I can say is woohoo!