The conventional and unconventional sides of my life.

Archive for May, 2010

Chakra Mandala Paintings

In my last post I discussed the very, very basics of what chakras are. I wanted to provide a framework for the chakras before posting about a series of mixed-media paintings I am doing based on the seven main chakras.

I am spending six weeks studying each chakra. During the six weeks there comes a time when I feel that I have a fairly good understanding about the chakra – that is when I gather my supplies and start my mixed-media painting. I love to go to the craft stores and find neat fibers, scrapbook paper, gems and other trinkets in the color of the chakra that I am working on. Here is the painting I did for the Root Chakra:

I am actually making two of the same paintings for each chakra. One for our home and the other for the covenstead where I am studying. I was so excited to present this one to the covenstead and I could hardly wait until it was time to work on the next one for the Sacral Chakra. I just finished the Sacral Chakra painting this week:

I didn’t get a picture of the outer edges of the paintings but all along the edges I painted/wrote words associated with each chakra. Some of the words on the red painting are survival, grounding, and me first. The orange painting includes the words passion, desire, and sensuality.

I just thoroughly enjoy making these paintings! I am looking forward to having all seven complete. I’m still not sure where I will display them. Perhaps the upstairs hallway or maybe even along the wall of our stairway. For right now, the two paintings are displayed in my living room here:

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What are chakras?

Earlier this year, I began a year-long course studying the seven major chakras of the body. Chakra comes from a Sanskrit word meaning “wheel” or “disc”. They are energy centers corresponding along the spine of your body starting from the base and going up through the top of your head. The seven chakras starting from the base of the spine are:

RootLocated at the base of the spine. This chakra is related to security, survival, stability and grounding.

Sacral – Located just below the belly button. This chakra is related to passion, sexuality, pleasure and desires.

Will (or Solar Plexus) – Located above the bellow button. Have you ever had a “gut feeling”? That is where the will chakra is located. This chakra is related to power, will, and manifestation.

Heart – Located in the center of your chest(you know – your heart area!) This chakra is related to love and compassion.

Throat – Located just above the notch in your collarbone. This chakra is related to communication, self-expression, and creativity.

Third Eye (or Brow) – Located slightly above and between your eyebrows. This chakra is related to seeing, both physically and intuitively.

Crown – Located at the top or “crown” of your head. This chakra is associated with pure consciousness, the all.

Did you notice the color associations for each of the chakras? Sometimes you may see the third eye chakra is associated with indigo and the crown chakra with violet. I most often see the crown chakra associated with white (it is gray here otherwise you wouldn’t be able to read the word!)

The above overview of the chakra system is an extremely  basic overview. There are more and deeper associations with each chakra. It is possible to have excess or deficits in a particular chakra which inhibit the flow of the energy and because of this, it can manifest itself as disease (Dis-ease).

The course I am currently involved with spends six weeks on each chakra. I love to dive deeper into each chakra understanding more how various aspects of life correspond with each one. Even though we spend six weeks on each chakra, I sometimes feel that isn’t even close to enough time. I am sure I could spend large amounts of time studying the chakras. The beauty of the chakra system is that it can benefit anyone. Just knowing the basics as outlined here can help you. You can get as involved or not involved with it as you’d like.

If you wish to learn more about chakras, there are many resources online and many great books. Two of my favorite books about the chakras are by the same author, Anodea Judith. Those books are:

The Sevenfold Journey: Reclaiming Mind, Body and Spirit Through the Chakras

Wheels of Life: A User’s Guide to the Chakra System

Panini Night!

Tonight I made panini sandwiches for dinner. It isn’t one of my least expensive dinners to make but it sure  is one of our yummiest dinners!

I bought cibatta bread at my local grocery store. If you can’t find cibatta bread, any crusty bread will do. I brushed a mixture of olive oil and balsamic vinegar on one side of the bread.

I then flipped the bread over and put pesto on one side of the bread and tampenade on the other side. Tampenade is an olive oil based spread. I usually get olive tampenade. The tampenade I used tonight was a mixture of olives, garlic, sun-dried tomatoes and roasted red peppers.

Next I added the meats. That is cappicoloa (an Italian ham) on the left and prosciutto (another type of Italian ham, this one is dry-cured) on the right. You can use any sort of cold cuts you like, these just happen to be my favorites when making paninis.

I added some provolone cheese and arugula (a salad green known for it’s “peppery” flavor). Slapped the two sandwich sides together and put it on our fancy sandwich squisher (which is really a Cuisinart grill my mom bought for us a few Christmases ago).

And there you have it, a delicious panini sandwich! The beauty of paninis is the versatility. You can use whatever bread, spread, cold cuts, herb and vegetable combination you wish.