Mandalas and Me...
Updated: Nov 6, 2021
Maybe you’ve heard the word mandala mentioned here or there, especially in relation to meditation and spirituality. Mandala is a Sanskrit word meaning circle, and a mandala design is generally composed of elements that are placed in mostly concentric circular patterns emanating from one central point. If you look around you can find a wide variety of mandalas that were created by many different people all over the world.
I first encountered mandalas a few years ago while looking for colouring activities online. The nature of mandalas appealed to my love for graphic design, so I downloaded a few of them which I proceeded to colour. Colouring is an activity that I enjoy very much; I find it calming and a good form of meditation, allowing me to be more receptive to creative ideas. Thus began my fascination with this form of art!
The next thing I knew I was drawing my own mandalas, some of which I have used to provide a colouring activity for my afternoon wellness retreats. Participants enjoyed colouring these as a form of private reflection that yielded positive results for them. This would be an example of a Healing Mandala; one that is intended to promote calm, focus and concentration, thus allowing the one using it to gain insights that may lead to healing on some level.
I also met mandalas when I was a student in a Shamanic training program. In this case I was guided to create mandalas to represent things that I was learning, and also things that I wanted to heal in my life; it was a most beautiful experience! I surely had fun finding branches and flowers to create mandalas such as this one. This type of mandala may be considered a Teaching Mandala; one that is used to help students deepen and apply new knowledge.
In the Buddhist and Navajo spiritual cultures mandalas are created using coloured sand. These often intricate designs may take weeks to complete but are then cleared away to begin afresh; this as a reminder of the impermanence of all human life. This is called a Sand Mandala and is used as a meditative spiritual practice.
For me, drawing and colouring mandalas on paper, as well as creating mandalas using natural materials outdoors is a wonderful way to bring healing through feelings of calm, peace and centredness where answers are found and spiritual growth is possible.
Blessings and peace,