What Is Mandala Art?
Birthed in Buddhist and Hindu traditions, and loosely translated from Sanskrit, mandala means circle. Mandala’s are repeating patterns of harmony, unity and wholeness from a central space, aligned with the neverending universe. There are many ways to create a mandala and in this “Jane Investigates” episode I share a way we can create greater calm, clearer thinking, and present moment awareness through making a mandala in nature.
Why Make A Mandala?
Mandalas can teach us much about non-attachment, impermanence, the cycle of life, and being with things as they are. It isn’t about the time it takes to create one, nor the end results, more the process.
Enjoy the playfulness of gathering, paying attention, arranging and experimenting and then the act of letting go.
Life moves on.
Monks mess up their sand mandalas for this exact reason, life is always in flux, we are but grains of sand.
Mindfulness Does Not Suit Everyone
Sitting cross-legged, with closed eyes to practise meditation for a quieter life does not suit everyone. Most people like to move, they have butterfly minds, get bored easily and want to get jobs done. In my e-book “ Magic In Mindfulness” I list several key benefits of practising mindfulness including :
- To stay in touch more with the present moment and be less caught up in negative thoughts
- Deepen your awareness and respond more skillfully to events in your life
- Reduce and maintain at low levels anxiety, depression and stress
To gain from the benefits of the above without remaining still and quiet, you may prefer to try the practical, creative mindfulness exercise below by simply turning the handle of your door and stepping outside.
How To Make a Nature Mandala
- First, head into the garden, if you have one, and gather what feels good, else go for a walk and pocket or bag the same.
- Next, arrange your treasure into a circle of ideas. You could be indoors or out doing this.
- Maybe branch out from the centre, or wherever feels like a good possibility.
- There is no right or wrong way to arrange.
- Step back and enjoy your creation, tweak it to suit. You may like to capture it on a camera, meditate, sketch, or simply just let it be or even go. Explore what feels right for you.
Below are a few mandala creations from my mates too.
It’s good to have you here.
Thort For The Day
“Gone, and a million things leave no trace
Loosed, and it flows through the galaxies
A fountain of light, into the very mind
Not a thing, and yet it appears before me:
Now I know the pearl of the Buddha-nature
Know its use: a boundless perfect sphere.”
-Han-Shan, Translated by Gary Snyder
泯時萬象無痕跡， 舒處周流遍大千。 光影騰輝照心地， 無有一法當現前。 方知摩尼一顆珠， 解用無方處處圓。
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