Saturday, February 24, 2007

Roast Your Own Coffee? Make Mandalas?

I was just reading Mary Hunt's column in today's paper, and she talks about roasting her own coffee. She says it's cheaper and tastes better. She has a couple articles on her site about it, but I can't figure out how to link directly to them. Type "roast your own" in the search box, and the first article will come up; it has a link to the other one in it. Has anyone tried this? Or know anyone who has? I'm intrigued. Maybe I'll do it after I make my own baby wipes!

Secondly, does anyone know anything about making mandalas? (Mark? Apparently Carl Jung used them.) Catherine Newman wrote a column about them on babycenter, and I read an article about making them in Views and Voices this week. There's going to be a mandala conference nearby this summer, but it costs $720! How can I learn about them for less?


  1. The wikipedia link probably says it best about mandalas. Yet I do know that when Jung was going through his own period of psychosis (supposedly even kept a revolver in a drawer beside his bed in case it became too much), he would draw lots of circles (and other images). I suppose that a mandala is a way of mapping out those contents of the self that the ego doesn't want to recognize. The idea is that what our cultural commonly conceives of as the "self" is incomplete. It's as if we're walking around with other people inside us that our monarchical ego doesn't allow to the surface (usually because of social taboos - sometimes for the best, other times not). Jung might say that the process of "individuation" is sorting through all this madness. At first it is overwhelming, then the contents become integrated into a wholeness. Through the process of drawing a mandala, you can get a glimpse of what this might be like. It's easy to access a meditative state.

    As far as mandalas with the Tibetans go, I would say that they are attempting to map out certain psychic contents that are common to all human beings - transpersonal, archetypal, or even a collective unconscious. For western culture we might see something similar in the ancient Greek narratives (Odyssey, Illiad, etc.) or in miracle stories of Christian Saints. It might be that the ancient Greek gods are metaphors for the interactions of inner psychic components. Narratives, images (e.g. a great many early church images where destroyed in the iconoclast - this is what our friend David Cartlidge has spent so much time attempting to recover!), mandalas, songs, and even theology are ways of attempting to process all these parts of what we are.

    That's my take on it.

    What's that have to do with coffee?


  2. Here's an Amazon link to a book written by our "friend" (sorry if that sounded pretentious) Dr. Cartlidge:

    I bring him up because I thought it would be a common thread for some of us.

  3. Guess the link wouldn't post.

    The book is called Art and the Christian Apocrypha.

    ISBN: 0415233925

  4. *sigh* It all comes back to that Early Christian Art class I should have paid more attention in, doesn't it? I'll have to look up his book. The article I read talked about the different ways people can create them: clay, paper, textiles. The woven ones were particularly striking. (Kathryn? Know anything?)

    Thanks for all your input, Mark. Um, I guess the coffee is to keep you awake during all this?

  5. I always thought mandalas were made with sand. So maybe if you roast the coffee and grind it you can make mandalas with it.

  6. Oh and I seem to remember they are to help remind the maker of being in the present and that all things are impermanent (at least that's the Buddhist take). That's why they are made of sand and once they are complete they get destroyed. I think. I don't know I need some coffee.

  7. Sorry, one more:

  8. Thanks, Kathryn! Now when are you going to start a blog? Huh? Huh?