Mandalas as Spiritual Practice

Mandalas as Spiritual Practice

Mandalas

What is a mandala? Blue and purple circular mandala

Mandala means “sacred circle” in Sanskrit. Circles appear in nature (flowers, snowflakes, sun, moon, etc.), architecture and are also powerful symbols in cultures throughout world history. In various spiritual traditions, mandalas are used to facilitate meditation and are used in sacred rites as a transformative tool to assist with healing.

Tibetan Buddhist Monks and Native American Indians all use mandalas as a way of evoking spiritual energy, meditation and healing. Psychologist Carl Jung used mandalas with his clients and for his own personal growth. His studies revealed their creation allowed a deep healing to take place from within the human psyche.

Why are circles believed to be so powerful?

  • The circle is a symbol of wholeness, continuity, connection, unity, harmony and the cycle of life. 
  • Unlike other shapes, the circle flows and has no hard edges or angles. 
  • Circles are believed to help individuals focus inward.

Coloring Mandalas

If you choose to color a mandala it will tap into your creativity without any need for artistic expertise. The process of coloring can sooth and nourish you. Coloring mandalas is a great way to start using mandalas in your everyday life.

Find Mandalas Here:

Getting Started:

  1. You will need crayons, colored pencils, paints, pastels, or markers in various colors.
  2. Find a quiet and comfortable place where you will not be interrupted. Turn off your cell phone and put on relaxing music.
  3. Take a moment to relax your mind and body. You can do this by taking three deep breaths. Breathe in love and breathe out tension and fear. Download a free guided meditation to help you relax.
  4. Lay out all of your coloring utensils and simply start coloring. Don’t give much thought to the colors you choose or if they match, let your instinct choose. There is no wrong way to color.
  5. Once you are finished coloring in the mandala take a moment to look at it. Notice the colors, the shapes and how they make you feel. You may also find that getting out your journal and recording your thoughts may be helpful.

Drawing Mandalas

You can also choose to draw your own mandala.

Find Mandala Template Here:

Getting Started:

  1. You will need a clean sheet of paper, crayons, colored pencils, paints, pastels, or markers in various colors.
  2. Find a quiet and comfortable place where you will not be interrupted. Turn off your cell phone and put on relaxing music.
  3. Take a moment to relax your mind and body. You can do this by taking three deep breaths. Breathe in love and breathe out tension and fear. Download a free guided meditation to help you relax.
  4. Draw a circle on the paper. You can use a compass or outline something round, such as a bowl.
  5. Draw a small shape in the middle of the circle. A diamond, square, circle, or a star all work well. (These are your "motifs.")
  6. Draw another shape outside this first shape. (You can change colors at any point.)
  7. Repeat it in a ring all around your centre motif.
  8. Keep going, drawing new motifs in expanding rings, as you work toward the outside circle of your mandala.
  9. Try overlapping some motifs; this creates new and interesting shapes, which still harmonize with what you've drawn so far. As you move outward, your motifs may be larger since you have more space to work with. You can then start putting one shape inside another, again creating more interesting shapes.
  10. You may find yourself wanting to go back and add something to a previous ring. That's fine. The mandala is finished when it feels finished to you.
  11. If you've drawn in pencil, you may want to scan or photocopy it before coloring your mandala. That way you can color it more than once, and share it with others to color.

Additional Resources:

Websites

Books

The following books are available for check-out in the Health Services Resource Library:

Coloring Mandalas: For Insight and Self-Expression 
By Susanne F. Fincher

Mandala: Luminous Symbols for Healing
By Judith Cornell