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The Mandala Araretama


The Mandala Araretama is a personal development process that works on important aspects of your life such as for purposes, potentials, talents, creativity, relationships, vital energy. It is based on the use of thirty-one of the Araretama Vibrational Essences, distributed along with eight different Levels.

By deciding to do the Mandala Araretama you are choosing to go through the changes that will help you to unveil the magic of your life, having the vibrational essences of the Atlantic Rain Forest as your allies and path guides.

The essences will act on your energy and emotional field, dissolving what is unhealthy, harmonising what is unbalanced, awakening potentials, opening up perceptions. They will work in the alignment with your essence, awakening important parts of your being that may have been numbed or undermined for different reasons.

Is there anything hindering you from seeing with clarity, from expressing yourself fully, from accessing your vital life force? What do you need in order to live the full expression of what you are and in order to manifest your dreams?

Everyone is moved by a life force that is triggered and enhanced when we live our passions when we are expressing truly who we are. But many times we are withdrawn from living our inner truth, due to habits, beliefs and unhealthy patterns of thought and behaviour inherited from our society. We become unsatisfied role players in society's game.

The Mandala is a gymnastic academy for your emotions that will assist you in scraping the rust off your true self, letting shine the unique potential that you, and only you, carry and have to offer to this world.

The Mandala is also for those who feel ready to open and explore new areas of their lives, be it on their relationships, work, and on their perception of the world etc.

The Vibrational Essences


In the 1930s Dr. Edward Bach in England published the first studies of flower essences and showed to the world that each flower has unique vibrational qualities that, through a simple process, can be recorded as information in the molecules of water and thus be transmitted into our bodies. These essences are powerful helpers to our own emotional development.


In a chemical analysis, the vibrational essence is pure water preserved in alcohol, it doesn't contain any other substance of the plant from which it is made, but it is imprinted with its energetic information, its life force.

When taken as drops or spray the essences act in the human organism on levels that go beyond the physical. Their energy frequency vibrates and interacts with the frequencies of our body, restoring the balance of our emotions.

The Araretama System of Vibrational Essences collects the special qualities from flowers, lichens, vines and other elements of the Atlantic Rainforest. They have been developed since the late 1980s when Sandra Epstein, in profound connection with the forest, felt the call to make these essences available to the world.



The Atlantic Rainforest and the origin of Araretama


The experience of the Mandala Araretama exists because of the vibrational essences of the Atlantic Rainforest. This Brazilian forest, which has been reduced to less than 10% of the area it once occupied a few centuries ago, is one of the greatest biodiversities on the planet.


What makes life so abundant and multiple in this forest? How can countless beings of varied forms and different needs, live in balance sharing limited resources such as space, water, sunshine and scarce nutrients?

The answer lies in the fact that it is not the rules of competition which prevail, but actually those of cooperation. From scarcity and diversity, abundance and balance are generated. The keywords are cooperation, self-organisation, interdependency, resilience, freedom, originality, creativity and respect.

Plants and animals interact in a fusion, taking just what they need from the resources, playing specific roles that are interwoven in a way that results in the balance of the whole. It is an equilibrium that is not static, but in motion, because flexibility is a virtue of nature, responding to the fact that transition is innate to life.

How to prosper from diversity instead of fighting it? How to develop without threatening the life and well being of all species? How to create abundance where there is a sense of scarcity? How to create resilience and undertake a change in a positive way?

In this moment in history when the pillars of the current model of society are being deeply questioned, this forest is a legacy of wisdom. Solutions to major challenges we face are revealed by the simple act of observing the models offered by nature.

A vew model of society

Why are we searching for realignment? Why do we feel the need to reconnect with our inner truth? Why the feeling of imbalance?

Many answers to these questions lie on the society model we have grown up in. While the predominant thinking model1 of the modern society has generated important advances on medicine, technology, science in general, etc, it also has created lots of destruction and very unhealthy relationships towards the planet, between communities and individuals, and from us towards our own selves.

For the context of the Mandala what is important to notice is that human beings are infinitely creative and we are now in a time of great change evolving toward a positive and healthy society.

This new cultural model that is being created is based on relationships strongly oriented by respect, trust, ethics and nourished by creativity. In this new model self-knowledge, humour and pleasure are in the foundation of everyone's existence. Life is understood as a spiral of abundant possibilities, were growing and developing opportunities are limitless.

In the new model some matters that have received little priority, or that have been actually jeopardised, are of primary issue. Such as the encouragement for each person to explore and develop their own talents and passions, to have a clear understanding of what is really important to them, to feel connected to their life purposes and thus to their vital energy.

The Mandala Araretama is a guide, in an individual or group level, for these transformations helping to unblock and release what hinders us, and to stimulate and develop what brings us to another level of satisfaction and of self expression. The Mandala is contributing to the creation of the new through you.


Do you feel called to create something new in your life? Are you willing to manifest your deepest wills? Do you want to evolve, expand, in your relationships, your work, or new fields in your life?

The Mandala takes us beyond that of what is known, towards the infinity of your potential, helping you to create the new and to improve what is already there. The vibrational essences and the journey stimulate your talents and creativity and open up your perspectives on life.


Please refer to the bibliography listed on the session "Deepening the concepts" on this guidebook for the history and concepts of what we refer here as predominant thinking model.


Emotional Fitness


In a gymnastic academy we do various kinds of exercises in order to work out all different muscle chains of our body. The Mandala is like a gymnastic academy, but for our emotions. Through the 8 Levels, using the 31 essences, you work out your psychic-emotional body accessing all aspects. Areas that are dormant will be awakened, everything that is part of who you truly are will be activated and exercised for the balance and integrity of yourself as a whole.


A healthy life involves the ability to respond to different external events, as well as to the inner flow of emotions, integrating and balancing the experiences in three levels: instinctual, emotional and mental. For this, flexibility and presence are fundamental.

When we are born our brain has about 100 billions neurons. By the age of 2 years we may have less than 6 times the amount of neurons active in our brain when we were born, because the ways in which we are educated stimulate just a small part of our potential.


The plasticity of our brains, a recent discovery in science known as Neuroplasticity, is the ability of the human brain to be 'plastic' and 'malleable', capable of reactivating or producing new neurons and synapsis (connections between neurons) also in adult age. As a result of the experiences one goes through, at any moment in life, we can expand our abilities, perceptions and very importantly, our flexibility to deal with situations.


The dominant cultural model we have been living in, over stimulates some of our capacities while limits others. There has been for example an overvaluation of the use of the left side of our brain, responsible for the logical thinking, technical, mechanical and analytical functions. While the right side, which coordinates the creative, non-linear and intuitive activities, is under- stimulated, if not repressed.


The Mandala Araretama, through the power of the questions and exercises and, specially, through the use of the essences, works the plasticity of our brain, balancing the overstimulated left side, allowing and stimulating the expression of the right side. This opens us up our potential and perception of life beyond what has been imposed and programmed upon us.


In the Emotional Fitness "toxic" emotions are released, blockages are opened up, what is no longer needed is transformed and the aspects that are in alignment with who you truly are are awakened and expanded. By properly exercising our emotions we are better prepared to handle the various situations of life, without disconnecting from our inner truth and vital energy.


Who is the Mandala for and when is the right time do it


The Mandala is for everyone who feels called or attracted by it. The right time to do it is at anytime in your life that you feel like doing it and as many times as you want to. The results are very personal, varying for each one of us and at each time in life you go through.

Individuals, groups, families, teams, children, grandparents, pregnant women, teenagers, leaders, men, women, all of us are welcomed to do the Mandala.

Though deep, it is a simple process adaptable to the needs and circumstances of whoever is undertaking it.


Challenges and Support


It is natural that we face challenges when engaging in a transformational process. Many times the challenges are an important part for grounding newer and healthier ways. Also, some hardships can be encountered in the process of letting go of patterns that have been with us for years, but no longer serve us.


The Mandala allows us to acknowledge our shadows as opportunities of growth. If we did not want to see them before, with the Mandala we will face them, but also the opportunity to transmute that what we had rejected.

If you meet resistance, suffer discomfort, or go through a crisis, which can be in the form of fear, anger, the feeling of being stuck, etc, there is a special vibrational essence that will provide you the support to overcome the challenge in a much easier way than trying to do it on your own without support. This is the essence of Rudá, a combination of different essences to be used at any time you feel the need to.

In these moments of challenge focus on discerning what is going on. It is important to accept the feelings as they come but not to identify yourself with them. Practice the exercise of separating yourself from them, taking the place of an external observer. The essence of Rudá will help you to understand what you are going through, metabolise it, release and transmute what needs to be changed and allow you to benefit from the opportunities for growth brought by the challenges.


Going further



Usually the first time you do the Mandala you begin to comprehend how the essences work on you. As blockages are cleaned up and a more open state is obtained, deeper work can happen. The Mandala can be done again and again over the years, expanding your comprehension of yourself and your life.



Each time you go through the journey you can choose different focuses. For example: what was the most difficult part of the Mandala the last time you did it? Let's say it was the essence of Pyata. So the next time you do the Mandala, you can focus on developing the ability of "putting limits" which is the teaching of that essence. So you will go through all the essences of the Mandala taking Pyata together.

Another change in focus would be, if you have done the Mandala in the passive way, to do it on the next time on the active way of "becoming" each essence (see more about the passive and active ways on the Step by Step chapter of this guidebook).


Other ways of doing the Mandala

Subtle Bodies Mandala: going through our chakras and subtle bodies. One essence for each chakra. For example in the first week you work the first chakra with the essence related to it: Embo Rudá. Next week the second chakra and so on.

Shamanic Archetypes Mandala: going through the 4 elements.

Tantra Mandala: using the same basic Mandala, and adding to each step a special Goddesses of Tantra. So during journey we focus on developing the qualities of the goddesses inside of us. It is a very feminine journey that cultivates our inner love.

Special programs: these are other programs offered by Araretama such as the Secrets of Life, the Wealth Mandala and the Masters of Life.

Deepening the concepts

If you want to go deeper into the concepts, here there are some bibliography we recommend:

Capra, Fritjof. The Turning Point: Science, Society, and the Rising Culture. Simon and Schuster, Bantam paperback 1983.

Damasio, Antonio. Descartes' Error: Emotion, Reason, and the Human Brain.

Putnam, 1994; revised Penguin edition, 2005.

Dorsey, Larry. Reinventing Medicine: Beyond Mind-Body to a New Era of Healing . HarperCollings Books, 1999.


Epstein, Sandra. Essências Vibracionais da Mata Atlântica. A Jornada da Consciência Desperta. São Paulo, TRIOM, 2000.

Sheldrake, Rupert. The Rebirth of Nature: the greening of science and God.

New York, NY: Bantam Books, 1991.