Mandala is a Sanskrit word meaning "to have possession of one's essence." It is a sacred circle with a centerpoint, a universal image that has long been a source of the experience of oneness and wisdom. It uses symbolic forms to draw out truth from the unconscious. These symbols help connect our inner life to our outer life.From Aletheia Luna:
The making of the mandala requires from us an attitude of receptivity and reverence. It is a search for and a recording of our deepest self at one moment in time and serves as a container for our deepest emotions. A mandala may be drawn, painted, sculpted, and even danced. It may involve recognizable symbols or it may take an abstract form.
HOW“A mandala is a map, a model of the world, a model of the mind, and a powerful visual device to invoke specific consciousness states. Like sigils and symbols, mandalas touch the deeper layers of the mind.” (Jan Fries)The fact that mandalas reach the deepest layers of our minds was something well understood by psychologist-sage Carl Jung. In his book Jung and Shamanism, C. Michael Smith explores how Jung would use the mandala as a doorway into the psyche:“In the mornings he would sketch a circle in his notebooks, a mandala ... and within it he would draw what he felt to be his inner situation at the time ... Jung discovered that through such drawings he could observe his own psychic transformations from day to day. Gradually it began to dawn on Jung that the mandala is really a mirror of the psyche in its totality.”Jung was also known to incorporate mandalas into his psychotherapy practice with patients. Intuitively, I believe we can all sense that the mandala represents wholeness. It is an image that is both fractured and whole at the same time – just like us human beings.
So why not try drawing your own mandala? It’s simple.
From Judith Veeder:
To begin a mandala, it is often helpful to have soft, meditative music in the background. You will need to have paper or a journal page, a pencil, and a compass for making the circle guide, crayons, pastels, markers, or paints.From Aletheia Luna:
Find a quiet place where you will not be disturbed for about thirty minutes. Close your eyes for a few minutes and become aware of your breathing. With each breath, let go of concerns, centering on the experience.
Open your eyes and look at the colors in front of you. Remembering that being receptive is important, allow a color to "choose" you. Begin at the center of the mandala with whatever form suggests itself to you. Work outward from the center. When you are finished with your mandala, you may wish to write about it, date it, and give it a title.
Just get a piece of paper and a pencil. There’s no need to get fancy with colors if you don’t want to. If drawing a mandala intimidates you, find a mandala image to meditate on. There are many freely available mandala images on the internet.For an alternative to drawing mandalas, you may choose to color them in. Find mandalas for coloring here:
Make this into a daily practice and journal about what you experience and feel.
For a short (3:55) video on how to do this, see: