Making Mandalas

 

I first heard about mandalas from one of my best friends.  It seemed like a great way to combine two of our favorite pastimes: art and meditation. A mandala is a unique and intricate symbol representing the universe.  The word means “circle” in Sanskrit.  The symbol is used in both Hinduism and Buddhism as a meditation tool as well as for other ritual and spiritual purposes.

The idea is to gain clarity and focus by coloring the design with a specific color pattern in mind.  You may want to work on one as a way to relax or to gain insight into a particular situation in your life.

You can find free mandala patterns online to print and color.

Recently, I met up with my neighbor for an artist day.  What began as a day of mosaic making turned into a day of coloring mandalas.  And it turns out it was just what my soul needed anyway.

This time, I bought a coloring book of nature mandalas by Creative Haven with artwork by Marty Noble.  I chose this one because I liked the idea that each page focuses on one element or animal in nature.  I decided that I would dedicate each page I color to someone in my life as a way of wishing them positive thoughts and healing energy.  After choosing my special person, I then decide which animal totem will represent them and reflect their experience.  It’s lots of fun!  I’m looking forward to presenting each page in person.  Of course, there is personal benefit as well.  You can even dedicate pages to yourself, if you like 🙂

There’s one ritual involving mandalas that I find particularly fascinating and in keeping with the spirit of meditation.  A group of Tibetan Buddhist monks create a giant mandala made of colored sand.  They spend countless hours making it, and then as soon as they finish it, they destroy it.  This is supposed to represent the transitory nature of life on earth.  It’s a great concept and goes along with my word for the year: change.

As an artist, I tend to have trouble letting go of anything I create.  In fact, in life, I tend to hold onto things as well!  One day perhaps I will be brave enough to destroy a piece of art after I create it, but for now, I think I’ll stick to coloring mandalas 😉

 

 

Sidenote:  It turns out labyrinths are also a type of mandala.  To learn more about labyrinths, check out my post here.

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: Meditating with Mandalas | Artwork and Musings by Angie Kidd
  2. Trackback: Get Your Zen On with Zentangle! | Artwork and Musings by Angie Kidd

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