The main reason for the recent road trip to New Mexico was to experience The Mandala Center in Des Moines, New Mexico. What would it be like stay in this beautiful retreat center dedicated to personal and spiritual growth? Would it be as wonderful as the website photos and descriptions? My friend Kelly Larson and I came for a weekend personal retreat, wanting to find out.

We arrived as the sun was going down and a glorious New Mexico sunset danced in the sky. The ever present and powerful Capulin volcano stands guard over the valley.  Its presence is felt day and night.

The two mountains called to the founder who saw them in a vision.  Not knowing where these mountains were, a drive west provided an opportunity to discover them.  Land was purchased and The Mandala Center was created.  The details of the story of this vision and the how this place came to be are found on The Mandala Center’s website.

In the morning Kelly and I got to see Casa Mandala in a brighter light.  Casa Mandala is the main lodge building where the circular rooms are mandalas unto themselves.  The main round room has  two story high windows and at the very top is a mandala art glass sky light that shines rainbows on the stone floors.

 

This room is where Tibetan Monks created a sand mandala a few years ago.  It is the perfect spot for gatherings and quiet time.

The art room where we will create our mandalas in the five day course has the best view.  It was built to look out on Capulin volcano.


The rugs and white furniture will be protected as we create mandalas with different mixed media art materials.  The messier plaster and wax portfolio covers will be created outside.

We wondered what the food would be like.  Not to worry.  A very talented cook from Santa Fe prepared delicious, fresh, often organic, vegetarian and fish and chicken meals.

We slept in the sleeping quarters, a 30 second walk away, where guests stay. It’s high center roof creates  a light filled open center gathering space with tables, couches and small kitchen.

We stayed in room #8, Contemplation.  Each room has a name that evokes serenity and the purpose of being at this place.

The open land that surrounds The Mandala Center with mountains nearby and a night sky that is filled with an infinite number of very bright stars in the inverted bowl of the sky above,  is what calls our hearts to spend time here.  There is a labyrinth with a simple design. It has a powerful effect when its path is followed.  I had the deepest labyrinth experience ever as I walked these circuits with Capulin always present.

We put the many heart rocks and offering rocks we found walking on the land, along with the badger and crow fetish from Santa Fe into the center of the labyrinth during the entire night of the new moon.

My heart felt strong and at home in this beautiful and serene place.  Kelly and I are so looking forward to returning in July for the Morning Mandalas, Meditation and Journaling five day course.  I want to come again for more personal retreats.  It is well worth the travel required to get the The Mandala Center, once there it feels like home.

 

 

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