What is a Mandala?
Simply put a mandala is a design, drawing or painting within a circle, however there is MORE.
Mandala art is ancient - more than 2,000 years old! It is found in many cultures and used in many different Religious practices.
Mandalas symbolically represent life and its constant cycles and interconnectedness. Our Earth is a mandala.
The Mandala is a round form that holds a story – our story - about our mental, emotional and spiritual state of being. Mandalas create a safe place to pursue deeper feelings and explore complex patterns of our identity enabling us to retrieve lost or broken pieces to make us complete. Each shape, colour, form and pattern is significant for that journey.
It has been said that mandalas are symbolic pictures of the human psyche as it reaches out towards wholeness.
What does Mandala mean?
By creating a Mandala we are laying down a map for finding our own way to our self. The signs are specific symbols for what we need to know and realize for our journey. By re-connecting to our story we are guided to wholeness.
In Mandalas the center represents the point from which everything began and the boundary is the central dot magnified or expanded. These two aspects of a Mandala represent the connection between our deep inner self and our outer world, which exist simultaneously. A Mandala therefore is a ‘complete picture’.
Defining the word Mandala.
The noun mandala is pronounced - man·da·la is explained as being
- A geometric figure representing the universe in Hindu and Buddhist symbolism.
- Such a symbol in a dream, representing the dreamer's search for completeness.
The word mandala itself comes from the ancient text of Sanskrit and is derived of the root ‘man+da’ which means essence. This same root is used in English to describe ourselves we say man+kind which means an essence within a kindred; a man+(u)script is an essence expressed though words. A man+tra is an essence captured within a sound.
To Manda is added the suffix la, which means container or vessel.
Therefore the connotation of mandala is that it is an essence held within a container.
Why make a mandala?
Sometimes words are not enough to express what we know deep within our core. Mandala art can give us that access.
Mandalas have been used throughout history all over the world for spiritual realization, personal expression and transformation. Anyone can make a Mandala.
Mandalas help us to fulfill our desire for connection and wholeness.
Mandalas are a way to make a 'new world' where we can see things differently and where patterns can form different connections bringing about change.
A mandala creates a sacred space (mostly within a circular shape) which reveals some inner truth about you and/or the world around you. In this way it has a powerful influence on our inner self and how we perceive our connection to the outer world.
Making mandalas allows us to symbolically put together fragmented parts of our self, to join up the pieces to create a pattern that brings harmony and a sense of wholeness.
Making mandalas is a process to connect and create with ‘oneness’.
What is a Mandala for?
Mandalas can be created by individuals to gain knowledge from what we hold in the deepest regions of the mind – our unconscious.
They can tell a story of our inner self using images, forms and colours to symbolize deeply felt feelings when words are not enough.
Mandalas are used to quiet our constant thoughts so that our creative self can be expressed. They give us a point of focus, remind us that nothing is permanent, and connect us to what is truly important.
Mandalas are used for healing.
If you meditate by using a mandala, you can experience a relaxed and connected sense of being. You may find a greater personal understanding of yourself and feel that everything in life is connected in some way.