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Restful restlessness

Created: 2001
Original mandala:
felt pen, gel pen
12in x 12in
(30cm x 30cm)

Restful restlessness, mandala for meditation, healing and decoration, by Prem Shashi; felt pen, gel pen; blue, gold, silver

Digital version background: Photoshop

Various sizes and formats 


RUMI WROTE THAT WE FEEL restless because we are so busy seeking restfulness. If we sought restlessness instead, then we would find restfulness. Here both are present in the same design; which we see depends on how and from where we view it.

If we focus on the detail, we see the basketwork of a madman, an insane chaotic lattice. There is such a frenetic mass of lines and small segments that it makes the eyes jittery, enervates the mind, creating restlessness and unease. So life often appears when viewed from close-up.

When we draw back to survey the whole, what appeared as jagged zigzags seen from close-up seem more like ripples in a cosmic dance. From here, the coherence of the design emerges out of the chaos and the lines move towards stillness and balance. Now, the same design becomes relaxing to the spirit.

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