Everywhere I look I see mandalas. Pattern of the Universe—Matter of Life.
The geometry of our inner beings, shadow or light.
The swirl of my dog’s fur.
In Sanskrit, “manda”, means Mind or Essence, and “la” is Container. What a concept: Mind Container…Essence Container… Mandalas are contemplative tools for moving between the inner and outer experience — they serve as a link between worlds.
When you look at or make a mandala, you resonate with the essence of your deepest self and the collective spirit. A common theme is a mandala’s transformative effect on consciousness. We feel the PEACE bloom inside.
There are many ways to shift the awareness in preparation for drawing a mandala:
you might light a candle, take a deep breath, soften your gaze, say a little prayer, or sit up a little straighter.
Any ~ or all ~ of these things help prepare the brain, sending signals that something good is about to begin.
No special art supplies are needed. You might even begin by doodling with a ball point pen or a marker and go from there. Colored pencils are a lot of fun, because you can feel the colors move through you and select whatever the moment requires. Water colors work well if you have everything set up, and you can just sit with the flow of your work.
Mandalas are typically circular, and are frequently associated with Celtic and Tibetan art, but there are examples in nearly every culture.
Over the centuries, they have attained great symbolic value, combining the properties of science, art and nature. Their powerful symbolism is found everywhere in modern life. Today, groups are forming online, dedicated to creating and studying mandalas from all over the world. I have a list of many fascinating mandala artists listed on my blog roll.
C.G. Jung used the mandala as a way to reflect on the inner self, as pathway for expression. The recently published Red Book exposes for the first time, many of Jung’s beautiful and mythic drawings, made as an attempt to organize and translate images, symbols, and dreams that he encountered during a particularly difficult period of his life.
Drawing Mandalas gives you time to reflect, relax, play with color, touch your inner spirit, and be a part of the vast collective.
Drawing Mandalas shows you that you are unique and allows you to contact something beautiful deep within.
Drawing Mandalas opens your heart, slows your pulse, and helps the mind focus.
Drawing Mandalas is relaxing and yet surprising.
Hope to see you soon in the peaceful and creative surroundings of O’Hanlon Center for the Arts in Mill Valley, California