The first thing people say when they hear the word Mandala is "Aren't they those things with intricate shapes and lots of colors, like from Buddhism or something?"
My answer is: “Yes, they are, but that’s only one kind. Anything drawn in a circle is a Mandala, and you can draw them yourself to get insights into your life…it’s so cool!”
At that point, I see their eyes glaze over in a panic, thinking things like ‘I’m not an artist,’ and ‘there’s no way I could draw something like that’, and then befuddlement sinks in, and they wonder; how on earth they could find out more about themselves by coloring?
Drawing Mandalas are fantastic tools for self-discovery
They’ve been used throughout the centuries and across many spiritual practices as tools and symbols representing the soul and our place in the Universe. I could expand ad nauseam on the history and value they have in spiritual and personal growth, but I am going to try to stick to the basics here:
1. Mandalas are traditionally used as meditative tools and spiritual symbols.
2. Carl Jung introduced the modern era to Mandala drawing as a form of self-discovery.
3. Anything drawn in a circle or a circular image is considered a Mandala and anyone can draw one, you don’t need to be an artist.
4. They come in many forms. Drawing on paper or parchment is most common, but sand, sculptural, textile and mural mandalas are other known forms, just to name a few.
5. They can represent the Universe in its infinite wisdom, or a piece of our inner-self or soul that provides guidance and direction.
6. Generally, a mandala is created with an intention. Either a broad concept for meditation such as Inner Peace or Love, or a personal intention for inner guidance and insight.
7. Drawing Mandalas is FUN!
The woo-woo explanation of Mandala is that you’re connecting with your soul, asking to share its infinite wisdom through your creative hand.
The more down to earth is:
It allows you to set your thinking aside and let your intuition speak.
Setting all terms aside that might have connotations that you freak you out; it’s a way to let YOU tell YOURSELF something about YOU!
Does it seem deep and complex? It’s not.
Take a plate, saucer or bowl; use that to create a circle on your page, lift it, and just color… knock yourself out and have fun!
Don’t think, analyze or ponder… just color. Color like you mean it. Have fun! Take the opportunity to create whatever comes to mind and damn the consequences!
This is where the magic happens
You’ll get answers to questions you didn’t know you had, and see things in a way that you didn’t know you could.
The key is when you’re done drawing, step back, walk away, disconnect and… allow.
When you’re intensively in that creative moment you see things, assume ‘logical steps’ in what you’re creating and move in that direction. Jot all that down so you don’t forget.
Walk away, step back and create some distance. When you go back and look at it with new eyes, eyes that are different from the creator, you’ll see different stuff.
Look at it from the initial intention’s point of view, and you might surprise yourself as to how intuitive you really are.
Mandala drawing started out as a deeply spiritual experience meant only for the chosen few… but has been understood and transformed into a tool that can help every individual…
and the best part is, you just need to let loose and have fun drawing, then step back and soak it all in!
Life is good!
Tanya Arler is about real change, right now. Her unique techniques create deep shifts and a-ha moments that will help shape your life into exactly what you want it to be. She listens deeply, responds authentically and guides you whole-heartedly.