By jennagriffiths | August 22, 2011
Richard Moss’s Mandala of Being is a simple way of learning to tell the difference between feelings and emotions.
Feelings are like weather, they come and go. We’re meant to experience them fully. Emotions on the other hand, are self created.
They’re caused by us telling or retelling ourselves painful or uplifting stories, over and over again sometimes for an entire lifetime.
How do you use the mandala of being?
You simply label each thought you have: (this is a thought about the past, or about the future or about me or about another…..) and then you let go of the story and bring yourself back into the present by focusing on your breath. Richard calls this letting your mud settle.
During the Radical Aliveness Retreat we worked more thoroughly with this system under Richard Moss’s direct guidance.
Moss explained that we leave the present to avoid feeling something in the moment. We do this through interpretation; by telling ourselves a story about what’s going on that shifts us into our heads and out of our body.
The Mandala of being helps you stop creating more pain with your thoughts, at the same time putting you in touch with the original core feeling you were avoiding. Strangely, the painful stories we tell ourselves create much more pain than the original feeling we were avoiding. And worse still, these thought-created emotions are perpetuated ad nauseam ad infinitum.
Moss’s work is about “coming alive at the level of feeling by not turning feeling into thinking.”
Working with this system is like cutting away layers of rubble (your thoughts/emotions) to get right down to diamond at the core (being here now).
How to work with this?
The simple version: just keep labeling each thought as it arises.
The more advanced version:
Get yourself 5 blank cards or pages. Write one word of each on them: Me, You, Past, Future and Now.
Then lay them on the floor in the shape of a Mandala, with “Now” in the middle.
Then ask yourself, Is this a story about me? the other person (thing/money/object/God)? the past? or the future?
(Each of these locations has both a positive or a negative pole.
eg. Depressive me vs grandiose me, past regret vs nostalgia…)
As you work with an emotion physically stand in the location in the mandala.
You’ll find that the one story creates another and bounces you all around the mandala.
Each time, try to come back into the now and feel your body. Moss recommends focusing on slight changes in sensation in your hands.
What’s the original feeling you were avoiding feeling? Feel that feeling and let it go.
“When we are unconsciously in this Self-avoiding mode, thinking about ourselves, others and the world at large is our favorite pastime because we do not know what it is to feel our own depths in the present moment and taste life directly.” Richard Moss xviii
If you’d like more detail on how to work with this process get yourself one of Richard’s last 2 books: the Mandala of Being (2007) or Inside Out Healing (2011) or attend one of his workshops in Europe or the US.
Access my 2 interviews with Richard here
Moss will be giving a talk in Copenhagen next thursday 25 Aug followed by a 3 day seminar.
More about his European schedule.
Moss’s system can be used beautifully with Unger’s fingerprints system. This is my approach.