Mandala in Sanskrit translates to circle. It refers to the sense of wholeness and infinity represented by the circle.
In Tibetan Buddhism Mandalas are seen as a symbolic representation of the universe. They are sacred and can be created with sand, painted or visualized. Mandalas were introduced by Buddha. Each mandala is unique and can have healing properties or different lessons to teach us.
The act of creating a sand Mandala takes patience and dedication. It is a form of meditation and represents the transformation from suffering to enlightenment. Each part of the mandala has significance and reminds us that there is a guiding principle in creation.
According to Buddhist scripture, sand mandalas assist with healing and generate positive energy to anyone that views the mandala.
The Mandala process begins with an opening ceremony involving chanting and movement, the creation of the mandala is an important process and can take weeks to complete.
On completion, the mandala is destroyed in a ritual signifying that nothing is permanent. Once the mandala has been dismantled, the sand is collected and transported to a waterway where the sand is returned to nature.
A personal mandala is a wonderful way to express yourself. Mandalas drawing and colouring is widely used as a method to calm the mind, they are a tactile form of mindfulness. Mandalas can be drawn as symmetrical or asymmetrical creations. Each mandala is a unique expression of its creator.
Mandalas created within a circle represent our inner world, the universe within. Creating and colouring a mandala represents our subconscious mind and can help us gain clarity and understanding of our inner landscape.
There are many mandala colouring books available. You can create your own mandalas easily. All you need is paper, pencil, a compass (or something to create a circle like the lid of a jar) and an eraser. What appears to be a very intricate pattern is a very simple doodle that is repeated again and again in a circular manner. This doodle, however, comes alive when you add colour.
You can of course keep your mandala black and white, it comes alive just using a black texta to fill out the background.
No art or drawing experience is necessary, the process of doodling creates the mandala for you. It can take 15mins to create and colour a simple mandala.
Here are some beautiful mandalas created with this simple technique.