Whilst we may spend some time talking at the beginning and end of the session, sandplay is primarily an experience of witnessing your inner landscapes as they
are expressed and evolve in the sand. The process allows a softening of boundaries through play and opens doors to the wisdom of the inner healer in the unconscious through a trance like state.
Sandplay offers experiences with the principles and processes of symbolic language,
gestalt exercises, mandala drawing and interpretation, and sandplay sessions for each person. Integration will include a group sharing of mandalas. Stories are released and new ones created, dreams and visions can be explored and brought into being, relationship issues get clarified and traumas resolved. Many
aspects of Self can be discovered and embraced through a process that seems to be subtle, but can be very powerful.
There is something so natural about playing in the sand, It evokes a child like innocence, an inner harmony as you create and destroy. It's a meditation in
movement, a dive into the unknown and a meaningful method to integrate other strong experiences.
||Gentle music takes you on a journey to support a meditative
experience and bring you out again at the end.
Sandplay sessions are usually about 1 hour long, a little more if 2 people are working in the same tray. The session concludes with mandala
drawing and integration.
After you set your intention, you may start by simply playing in the sand. The narrowed focus of the tray allows a sinking into Self as images and feelings of the
psyche arise. Sometimes folks only work the issue through movement of the sand. Others gather and place symbols in the sand. Some may have obvious meaning or
sometimes they just call you. The arrangement and movement of the symbols in, out and around the tray allows you to see yourself and your relationships from many
perspectives. It opens doorways into the deeper levels of the psyche.
When you feel finished, you will be invited to draw a mandala to express the energies you have awoken. This symbolic expression may be very primitive, free flowing
or very detailed. You can bring your own art materials with paper to suit your preferences or use the ones provided. It is not about whether you can draw or not.
It is to assist you in integrating the experience and continue to play with the new relational fields.
Each person will do their sandplay with a witness whose role is to be present to the creation process and care for them. The witness does not facilitate the
process but holds deep presence and awareness for the player. Sometimes someone's experience can be facilitated by gestalt type questions or shifts in perspective
if they get stuck. Breath or movement can also be used to move the energy. No matter what the symbols might means to someone looking on, the only relevant meaning
is the one the player assigns to a piece. There is often as much learning for the witness as the person creating the sandplay.
Bring your camera or phone so your witness can take pictures of your trays. They are a record of your evolution and of relationships that may well manifest
in the future.
When finished, the witness will help the player get settled to draw their mandala and provide them with a drink and snack. They will then put the players symbols
away and set up the tray for the next session. Some people prefer to be out in nature during this time or simply remain more introspective. After a short break, the
roles are reversed.
During integration, we share the mandalas with each other. The integration is primarily about understanding the symbolic meaning of experience and its application
in ordinary life. Dreams, visions and meditations may further illuminate the meaning of the sandplays. You may wish to look up reference books about symbols or
mythology to gain further insight into your experiences.