SEQUIM — In her book, “Haiku &Mandala: The Wedding of Ancient Art,” Sequim author Ruth Marcus has fused a fascination for ancient religious symbols with her love of poetry.
Dungeness Barn House Bed and Breakfast, 42 Marine Drive, will host a book signing for Marcus, with copies of the new book available for purchase, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday.
Additional copies of the full-color, hardbound book — published by Wide Awake Publishing — will be available at local bookstores and online at Amazon beginning in January, Marcus said.
The collector’s edition of “Haiku &Mandala” also is available online at www.wideawakepublishing.com.
Mandalas are a spiritual and ritual symbol for faiths originating on the Indian Subcontinent, Marcus said.
“Mandalas are sacred art dating back to the fourth century in Tibet,” she said.
“Renowned psychologist Carl Jung found mandala drawing useful for self-reflection and self-discovery. Mandalas are … meaningful tools for meditation and healing [used] by Buddhist monks, Navajo Indians and many other cultures” today.
Haiku is a Japanese poem traditionally written in three lines with 17 syllables, Marcus said, adding that their brevity includes reference to a season and includes color, texture, sound and smell to heighten the reader’s experience.
“Contemporary English haiku has evolved to include themes of family, human rights, death, humor and philosophy, and is most often expressed with varied line lengths,” Marcus said.
Combining mandalas with haikus for the book “was a stretch for me,” she said.
“I love haiku but consider myself a beginner. I wrote and rewrote the haiku many times. And each poem contains only three lines. This project has been a spiritual and psychological journey, culminating as a printed book within three months. Several poet friends and friends who support the arts encouraged my process.”
C0mbining these two ancient arts “was a labor of love,” Marcus continued, “a challenging and exhilarating journey.”
For the past seven years, Marcus said she has focused on writing poetry and flash fiction. She also hosts a free spontaneous writing group every third Monday of the month at the Sequim Library, and hosts two writing critique groups in Sequim.
It was late one night when Marcus, founder of Fourth Friday Readings, said she was inspired to write the book.
“It was one of those must-do experiences,” Ruth said, adding that she went on to select 32 mandalas from a multitude she has drawn over a 20-year span.
“I draw a particular style of mandala that uses high-quality, black charcoal paper and Prisma Color pencils. You begin by drawing a circle and placing one white dot at the center, symbolic of creation. It is remarkable to turn from the outer world and journey inward — allowing yourself to draw shapes and colors and images that arise.”
Marcus is available to offer private multi-media shows and discussions about spirituality, creativity and living an inspired life to spiritual groups, churches and other organizations.
Also, on Jan. 19, Marcus will host a mandala drawing retreat at the Lodge Media Room, 660 Evergreen Farm Road, in Sequim.