With Instructor Zhang Dasu August 2019 at Merigar West
I enrolled in the “Art of Relaxation and Awareness – Meditation on the Mandala” course with the hope of benefiting and overcoming the creative block I suffer from. In spite of my artistic studies I had not put my hand on a pencil for decades. The fact that it was presented as a course open to anyone, even to those who did not have the basics of design, gave me courage. If it had been a technical-traditional mandala approach, it certainly wouldn’t have intrigued and encouraged me in the same way. I felt I needed to start from something simple and instinctive like when I was drawing without goals and thoughts as a child. My hopes were not only met but far exceeded.
In the first hours of the course we discovered the various aspects and meanings of this sacred geometry of the Mandala through a fascinating visual and theoretical journey – a form that exists in nature in the macrocosm as in the microcosm and practically in all forms of ancient oriental or western symbolism.
Instructor Zhang Dasu then guided us with great skill and sensitivity in a wonderful and healing experience. Starting from experiential relaxation exercises and connection with others and from different techniques of static and moving meditation, he brought us to a state of stillness and presence. From this base we then explored our feelings and our mind through this fascinating Mandala artistic meditation. An incredible technique to rediscover a pure creative and self-healing innate capacity, which if deprived of concepts or expectations automatically brings us back to a state of natural relaxation and presence.
A course that I recommend to everyone as I believe it can benefit anyone who experiences it, from the expert practitioner of meditative techniques who can gradually dissolve preconceptions and rigidity acquired more or less consciously over time, to any person who is even looking for the first time at a new experience of physical and mental well-being.
On 7 and 8 August 2019 I attended the Mandala course held by the master Maha Rupa, at the Tibetan center of Merigar. It was an unexpected and welcome gift from my parents, one of those occasions to get away from the world and get back in touch with oneself. So it was: I left alone, without expectations or prejudices, and my trust was amply repaid. As soon as I arrived I was able to appreciate the kindness of the staff and the welcoming environment, a true jewel of the East set on the slopes of Mount Amiata. The organization lacked nothing, from snacks to incenses spreading the typical scent of Himalayan temples in the air, helping to create a really pleasant atmosphere, together with music, the photographs on the walls and the polished wood of the wonderful hall where the course took place.
The teacher, in particular, turned out to be a pleasant surprise: a kind and easy-going person – increasingly rare features, unfortunately, in the many gurus who go around preaching from their high pedestals. Maha Ruba transmitted a sense of peace and serenity through his simple explanations and contagious smiles, giving the impression of chatting with old friends, giving us in the meantime many seeds of ancient knowledge that otherwise would not have been available in the “modern” west.
What else to look for if not this? A welcoming place, kind people open to new ideas, coming from all over the world, and finally tools to explore that unfathomable reality that is our conscience. I can only thank Maha Ruba, Cecilia, Fanni, Giulia, the Chinese interpreter whose name I unfortunately do not remember, all the other organizers and students who came here from the East, and finally all the participants who contributed to making this adventure unique!
With the hope of repeating the experience soon.