Midway through my time as a Presbyterian minister, I found myself drawn to the practice of mandala-making. On the first day of a week-long silent retreat, I left the retreat center, made a 15-minute trek to the alternate universe that is Wal-Mart, and purchased mandala-making supplies (paper, a student geometry kit, pencils, and Crayola markers).
For the next several years, I made mandalas on a regular basis. I made mandalas as a way of processing new ideas. I made mandalas when I wanted to figure out how I felt about something. And I made mandalas for no reason at all–just for fun, for the joy of color and shape on the page.
The practice of blogging is beginning to feel like mandala-making. It has the same feeling of committing to a discipline that changes me–not because it is earth-shattering in and of itself, but because I do it consistently, over and over again.
That’s the nature of habits, and practices. Maybe the difference between a habit and a practice is consciousness. We fall into habits, and choose practices.
I’m grateful for the time I spent making mandalas. I may return to the practice–perhaps in a different form, such as painting or quilting.
But for now, blogging is my chosen practice, and I am grateful for it, too.