Food Mandalas: They are pretty, circular designs made from healthy, vibrantly colored, natural food, but that reasons I create these designs are for more than beautifying my plate.
I first discovered mandalas when I was studying Art Therapy Techniques in College. I had seen the designs before in art work, and décor, but I had no idea that they were anything more than pretty circles, or of the innate power they possess.
I was working with the elderly and Alzheimer’s patients when I came across an article in an therapy journal about an “Mandala Drawing” therapy that had been able to accurately diagnose what stage of Alzheimer’s the individual was experiencing. I tried the process with several patients and was astounded at the accuracy. All the person was asked to do was to draw a couple different lines on a circle I had provided. Their placement of the lines in relation to the circle accurately reflected their current stage of Dementia. I was fascinated how a very simple drawing could reflect something as complex as a medical diagnosis. The circle had something to it.
The ability to draw a circle is one of the first universal land-marks of a child’s development. For this reason, it may be one of the earliest representations of the self, as Carl Jung believed. He also felt that when a circle was present in a dream or art, it reflected a forward motion in ones self-knowledge. Circles surround us in nature, from the life cycle we experience, the orbiting nature of the cosmos, and the earth itself. This may be one of the reasons that the circle or “Mandala” can be found as a significant symbol in almost all cultures, religions, and spiritual practices for thousands of years. The word “mandala” is Sanskrit for sacred-circle.
One of Carl Jung’s other observation, was that the circle served as a unification method for opposites. One of the inspirations when I first created food mandalas was for this reason. As I shifted my diet to a more plant-based, raw diet, “cooking” and food preparation had taken on a totally different nature than the frozen, premade, microwavable meals prevalent in my culture. I often had a seemingly odd mixture of leftover produce, seeds, nuts, yogurt, and other items that I had never traditionally seen paired together. I had raised my salad game, with new and flavorful combinations, but there were somethings that I didn’t want to mix in a salad form. The mandalas serve as a way I can seamlessly unify seemingly “opposite” foods. A random mandala might include leftover greens, asparagus, a banana with numbered hours, half an avocado, a leftover spoonful of yogurt and some flaxseed. The colors and shapes caught my eye and inspired me to plate them in an attractive manner. Suddenly all of the chaos was in harmony.
The Mandalas helped keep my diet on track and brought mindfulness to what I was eating. They are fun and easy and fast to create, so even if I was crushed for time I could effortlessly design them with anything I had on hand. As I make a designs, it gives me a new respect and appreciation for the food, and for my body it will become a part of.
When we say something is made with love, that energy has been put into it, with the hopes that the receiver will be able to sense, feel, or taste the love put in to it. Everything is energy, vibrating on a certain frequency or level. I believe that the artful, loving, plating of the mandala results in a higher vibrational frequency in the food that will be consumed and can potentially effect the consumers energy as well.
*Please remember fullyalive101.org does not provide any medical advice, and all articles should be considered opinion. Consult with your doctor for medical information.