Mandalas

The word “Mandala” in Sanskrit means magic circle. Mandalas are a visual representation that is used as a focal point for the practice of meditation.   Mandalas are circular designs to symbolize that life is never ending.   Hindus were the first people to use mandalas as a spiritual tool but most people are familiar with mandalas made by Buddhists.  According to psychologist Carl Jung, Mandalas are symbols for connecting with ourselves and when we concentrate on them, we are attempting to reach a higher plane of consciousness.

In todays world it is important to take time to disconnect from the stress in our daily lives.  Many of us do not have the time to sit down and meditate or even know how to meditate.  It is vital to our well-being that we take time regularly to decompress from external stressors.  If you personally do not have time to meditate or know how to then perhaps making a mandala is for you.

Not only can your spirit benefit from the practice of creating and coloring a mandala; but it also has benefits for people that have cognitive or coordination issues. Modern medicine believes that mandalas have become a healing tool and induce calmness. Mandalas help to boost the immune system, enhance concentration, reduce pain, and promote good sleep. People with diseases such as epilepsy, or high blood pressure have been known to benefit from this practice.

You do not have to be an artist to make your own mandala.  There is no right or wrong one to making one.  You can begin by drawing a simple circle on a piece of paper and have assorted colored markers for coloring.  Gather your materials and go to a quiet or private space.  If you like you can burn incense or light and candle and play soothing music.  Sit quietly for a few minuets before beginning your mandala and be open to what you are intuitively inclined to create.

The colors, shapes, or images can provide insight to what is going on inside ourselves-much like the symbols of a dream.  This is helpful in focusing your attention on messages you may receive from the unconscious.  For instance, if you colored using a lot of blues in your mandala this would represent your emotions and feelings.

Here are a few other ideas to consider for doing a mandala: You can find a nice round rock and paint a background color and then begin to add dots, or patterns on the rock using various paintbrushes. There are many ideas on websites such as Pinterest, as well as free printable mandalas online.  Many arts and crafts stores carry mandala adult coloring books.  If you like to do embroidery you can find mandalas to sew and this trend is called Zenbroidery.  Finally use your phone and download a mandala app and take it with you on the go and use it whenever you are stressed.  Get in touch with your inner child and play.

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