Life Your Way

Barbara Hawkins is Coaching Life Skills - A Better Life Using Meditation, The Silva Method, Silva Life System, Silva Intuition Training, Hypnosis, NLP, EFT, Spirituality and more

How To Draw A Mandala And Why – Symbols, Circles And Self-Awareness

The following post reminds me of an experience I had while living in Kentucky. I used to do a lot of weekend workshops “made to order” for my clients.

This particular workshop took place over a full weekend in an incredible retreat setting, in the Fall my favorite time of year. Because this was a group of religious people, and I wasn’t presenting material of that vein, I was concerned about one exercise – drawing personal mandalas. In other workshops this had been a very popular segment and I loved doing it.

But this was a religiously based group. Would they like it? I had run it past their organizer and was assured it would be fine. Still, I wondered.

When I started they were quiet, suspicious. “Uh oh” I thought. I continued as though I hadn’t noticed and put supplies on the tables.

They started slowly, a bit uncertain about “what this was all about” and “how to do it”.  As they started to draw it began to resemble a second-grade classroom with lots of excitement, conversation, discussion.  It was great! We all had a wonderful time.

At the end of the segment we took time to discuss the symbolism of our individual creations. No pressure to share because sometimes this is very very personal. The sharing was beautiful, rich with meaning and creativity.

I trust you’ll have a similar experience with your mandalas. Have fun!

by FinerMinds Team  November 28, 2010

What’s a mandala, how do you draw one and why would you want to?

Mandala drawing is a great way to get in touch with what’s going on inside you through symbols, imagery and circles…

What

A mandala, according to wikipedia, is a “geometric pattern that represents the cosmos metaphysically or symbolically.” But mandalas don’t have to represent only the cosmos ‘out there’, they can also be meaningful images of your ‘inner cosmos’. In other words – what’s going on inside you.

Why

Joan Kellogg was an art therapist who spent a lot of time building a system to understand the wisdom behind mandalas. She believed that the specific shapes or patterns people include in their mandalas usually corresponded to their overall condition emotionally, physically and spiritually at the time of the drawing. Carl Jung put it a little simpler when he said mandalas are “a representation of the unconscious self.”

A Month of Mandala

A few folks over here at FinerMinds have decided to take up a mandala challenge and we’re hoping you’ll join us. For 30 days, we’re going to draw at least one mandala daily. The purpose? To see what kinds of symbols and patterns emerge, and find out what’s going on in our inner cosmos.

If you want a fun (and colorful!) way to look inside that’s not quite as serious as psychotherapy, why don’t you join us? Here’s all you need to do:

How to Draw a Mandala

1. Supplies

A set of colored pencils, markers or oil pastels; paper, a ruler, and something round (a plate or compass will do) for making the circle.

2. Size

Start with a 10 inch diameter circle, but feel free to go larger if you want.

3. Experiment

If you’re using pastels, you can also experiment with black paper. This adds a totally different dimension and feel to your mandala.

4. Mood

Since this is a kind of meditative activity, you might want to create a nice mood with pleasing music and an uncluttered space.

5. Begin

Once you’ve drawn the circle, try not to over-analyze. Just select colors and draw shapes and images intuitively, based on what makes you feel good or what inspires you.

6. Review

After the 30 days, lay out all your mandalas and just sit with them for awhile. Notice which symbols and patterns tend to repeat, which ones changed or morphed over the month. Most importantly, notice what feelings or memories or thoughts those patterns inspire in you.

7. Share

Let us know what you’ve found out about your inner cosmos through the outer symbols and circles you’ve created.

This blog article was published on January 16, 2011.