Mandala Clair

An Advent Reflection – Celebrating Transformation

Sophia Centre, Cork Street, Dublin 8
Organised by Partners in Faith: Gemma McKenna and Mary O’Dwyer

I recently attended this refreshing and reflective Advent afternoon. It was led by a Janpanese lady who now lives in Ferns, Co Wexford. Mayumi Nabakayashi is a Mandala-maker, land artist and voice worker. Her passion is to explore wellness and creativity.
It was all about Madala making using only natural materials. Mayuni brought all the materials with her from her own garden and surroundings (supplemented in the afternoon with offerings form Gemma and Mary. These include bits of plants, leaves, petals, berries, cones twigs etc.
This was unusual medium for me to work with in making a mandala. The Buddist monks use sand allowing the wind or the waves on a beach to gently erase the sacred circles which they make. I used paints and pastels when I worked with mandala making. We were encouraged to erase our efforts after a period of sharing and reflecting on what had emerged for us.
A gentle letting go of the materials was a lesson for me, at this stage in my life, which reflected what my own mandal was revealing to me. A time for letting go. Not clinging. Not grasping.
In my Mandala I used less materials than most, perhaps reflecting my awareness of the fragility and shortness of the plant life.
I worked from the centre using cones, berries and nuts reflecting the fruitfulness of my life, moving to the periphery of scarcity, with room to reflect on my own fragility at this stage of life, I was also conscious of the life in the material I was working with. So, gratitude and respect and a gentler way of proceeding with handling all of God’s creation is the main blessing that I take with me from this very creative exercise.
My colour palette with natural materials is rich and warm. The shapes are varied, and the spaces between seem balanced and generous. This experience was both instructive and enriching as well as being novel and enjoyable.
Thanks to Mary and Gemma for organising and arranging so thoughtful a day.
Clair Dillon IBVM

Angela O’Grady – Celebrating 20 Years in The Intercultural drop-in centre,
Old Bawn Road Tallaght

The Intercultural drop-in centre was established in 2003. It is a first point of contact and support for individuals and families from new communities moving into the Tallaght area. The centre provides a safe environment for people to meet. It supports them in making links with local organisations and services and provides English language tuition to facilitate participation in Irish society.

Angela, who volunteers there brings her many years’ experience in teaching to migrants who need English language and literacy skills just to survive in their new host country.

Loreto Centre, Crumlin

Anne and Barbara meet with Anca, the Board and some Counsellors and attend the AGM of the Centre on the12th December. Our meeting took place in the beautiful, refurbished space on the first floor which had been out of use for over thirty years. Congratulations to Anca and the Board for their vision and management in completing this project which began during last Summer.

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