Introduction To Mandala ArtOctober 13, 2020
What is Mandala?
Mandala is a Sanskrit word that means “circle” or “center.”
We often associate the word mandala with the circular designs that have repeating patterns, shapes and often colours radiating from the center.
Mandala, on one hand can be very precise, carefully measured, geometric, and perfectly symmetrical design whereas on the other hand it can also be free flowing, organic, and asymmetrical. As mentioned above, Mandalas are often drawn in circles.
It is very true that once you discover what a mandala is you’ll begin to see them everywhere!
Using the Concept of Mandalas in Art Therapy
The nature of creating a mandala is therapeutic and symbolic. The shapes and colours you create in your mandala art therapy will reflect your inner self. Ultimately, you will be creating a portrait of yourself as you are when creating the mandala. So, whatever you are feeling at that moment, whatever emotions are coming through, will be represented in your mandala art. Your instinct and feeling should inspire and guide you through the process of creation.
As with most art therapy, it’s not about the final product, it’s about the journey. When you reach your destination, you will have a representation of something meaningful and persona, a snapshot of you for a brief moment in time expressed through your mandala.
Benefits of Using Mandala for Anxiety
Now that you know how a mandala is used in therapy, it’s time to learn the powerful benefits of creating mandalas.
- Promote mindfulness and healing
- Increase focus
- Release emotion, fear, worry, tension, anxiety and stress
- Increase your understanding of your anxiety disorder
- Stimulate creativity
- Release emotional blockages
- Learn how to decrease impulsive behaviour
- Promote self-discovery
- Control worrying
What is mandala meditation?
Many of us find it difficult to sit at a place and meditate with closed eyes. Here I would like to mention that Imagery is also a form of meditation, and as you may have guessed, mandala meditation is a form of visual meditation. Instead of closing your eyes to meditate, you rest your gaze on the mandala flower, allowing your thoughts and mind to empty out onto the mandala.
How to use a mandala in therapy?
Here are the steps to meditating on a mandala:
First of all Place your mandala art in front of you at arm’s length (either flat on the ground or on a wall)
- Sit comfortably in front of it with your feet flat on the floor or legs crossed
- Begin to breathe slowly and deeply from the diaphragm, emptying your mind and body of any tension or worries
- Gaze at your mandala and relax your eyes so the mandala is slightly out of focus
- Continue breathing and concentrate on the image, allowing the image to come in clearly and fully
- Breathe and focus on the shapes, colours and patterns
- If you become distracted, redirect your mind back to the mandala
- Continue doing so for a minimum of 5 minutes
This is one way how you can meditate using the mandala. You can also sit on your study chair and start drawing the mandala patterns in order to calm your mind and relax.
A Few Quick and Easy Tips for Drawing a Mandala
Mandalas look difficult and a bit complicated but don’t let that get you down. They are very easy once you start drawing them. Here I am sharing few tips on how you can start drawing these pretty intricate drawings.
1. Mark a centre point and using your compass draw a few concentric circles.
2. Use geometrical shapes like triangles, circles, curved and straight lines to make up your mandala. A mandala is basically a combination of all these shapes, with some additional intricacies like shading, shape within a shape and dots.
3. If you are not confident of drawing with a pen at the first, draw your whole mandala along with details with a pencil. Then go over the lines with a pen. You can keep modifying it as you go over the pencil sketch.
4. Don’t want to use/Don’t have a compass? Draw your mandala straight with a pen. Don’t worry about the perfection, if it goes out of shape or if one shape is bigger than the other. The point is to just draw the mandala. This helps you develop your focusing skills and makes you think about how you want the design to turn out.
5. No circles? Mandalas can be concentric squares, rectangles, triangles or any shape you want. Also, mandalas can be drawn from over half of the page, from the corner of a page, off centre, anywhere you want
Freehand mandala from the corner of a page
6. Don’t want to work with a pen? Try drawing your mandala with watercolour paints, poster paints,whichever you feel comfortable with