Guest Post | By SarahThe Spirituality Of Mandalas
Mandalas represent a whole world, God, the human being, life, and creation. This circular form is a symbol called archetype, that is, an image that is rooted in the collective subconscious that governs the inner order of nature, as in the zodiac signs system our birthday determines certain aspects of our personality.
The circle is present in all cultures since it’s the perfect geometric form, used to illustrate the totality and the truth. Mandalas have their origin in India and with the passage of time they have spread throughout the world. In our culture was the Swiss psychoanalyst Carl G. Jung (1875-1961) who introduced it for therapeutic purposes, developing a theory about the structure of the human psyche.
According to Jung, the mandalas represent the totality of the mind, encompassing both the conscious and the unconscious, and affirmed that the archetype of these drawings is firmly anchored in the collective psyche.
It is believed that by drawing mandalas the spirit and the mind get connected. This creates a form of meditation that manages to expand our consciousness, develops intuition and even gives us regenerative properties on a cellular scale, until introducing ourselves in its most spiritual dimension of conscience.
Mandalas: A global phenomenon
The universality of the mandala of the earth is a mandala of being; it reflects a unique structure: the central principle. The center is a symbol of eternity, the inexhaustible source from which all the seeds come from. A mandala consists of a series of concentric shapes, which evoke a transition between different the microcosm, and macrocosm.
The center of the mandala is not only the constant of space but also that of time: the center of time is now. It represents the culmination of consciousness. The three fundamental properties of the mandala are a center, symmetry, and the cardinal points; the first principle is constant, the other two variables depends on the mandala.
Mandalas have a hypnotic and lively beauty, and although they have been with us for centuries, in recent years, they’ve become a widespread phenomenon. Mandalas are everywhere: they appear in nature itself and take the form of everyday objects such as paintings, jewelry, pendants and even tattoos.
The books, courses, and mandala workshops multiplied and those who practice this ancient art assure to find a new harmony with the natural order and a greater balance and well-being thanks to its therapeutic virtues.
But why do these geometric shapes attract us so powerfully, those patterns that are repeated combining shapes and colors? What benefits come from creating, coloring or merely contemplating a mandala?
Origin of mandalas
The word mandala comes from Sanskrit and means sacred circle, magic circle or wheel. The circle represents the idea of the divine, eternity and universe, of unity and everything, the perfect form, without beginning or end, present in everything that surrounds us.
It is said that the mandalas contain a spiritual meaning in their interior, that even contemplating them has a profound transforming power and that they can awaken in the most obstinate individual’s qualities such as compassion, generosity or wisdom.
Although native to India, mandala configurations also appear in other cultures, such as medieval Christian and Gothic art, in the Andean world, among Australian aborigines or in the esoteric tradition, in the form of protective circles, and other talismans.
But perhaps the most famous are those made with colored sand by the Tibetan monks, which are created to be destroyed ceremonially, thus recalling the impermanence of the reality in which we live as help to practice detachment.
Sand mandalas are often made at the request of the community and to bring peace and harmony to places and their inhabitants, to consecrate medicinal remedies, to purify environments and people or as initiation of some tantric ritual.
According to the Buddhist belief, simple participation or collaboration in the process of creating a sand mandala purifies the beings and the environment where it takes place.
Mandalatherapy and its benefits
Carl Gustav Jung awoke the interest for the oriental mandalas in the Westerns civilization. He considered them as an expression of the unconscious self and used them in psychotherapy to help his patients to order their internal chaos.
The psychiatrist himself devoted himself to the daily practice of creating mandalas, assuring in his writings that painting mandalas brings peace and tranquility and sheds light on the darkness of our mind.
Currently, as an alternative therapy, mandalas are used to reach the unconscious and trigger emotions and thoughts that are often ignored. They also serve as a tool of inner work and help us to balance on the mental and emotional levels.
Thus, to the benefits that any artistic expression entails, in the case of mandalas creation, spiritual work is added, through mindfulness and active meditation that, with practice, help to generate harmony, peace and inner balance.
Also, painting mandalas pose other benefits, such as stress reduction, enhanced imagination, and creativity, concentration, discipline, precision, and flexibility, developing patience and even as an aid in healing processes of various physical pathologies.
How to paint mandalas
The only rule is to allow yourself the creative freedom to let your imagination flow. Relaxing music, a comfortable place and the desire to disconnect from any externality.
Painting mandalas can be a solitary or group activity. Anyone can do it. You can create a design with a ruler compass and filled by hand with geometric figures, bars, petals, borders, or coloring pre-designed templates.
Any support and coloring material is valid: pencils, markers, watercolors. Normally start from the inside out, but it’s not essential to do so; what is recommended though is that you end the first mandala before starting a new one.
If a relaxation effect is desired it is better to choose large and simple figures. Now if you want to increase concentration, it is preferable to opt for more complex, more detailed shapes.
As for the use of colors, it is also entirely free and, in fact, the choice of colors and shapes will later be very revealing for experts dedicated to the interpretation of mandalas used for therapeutic purposes.
How can a Mandala help me?
For all cultures that use mandalas, both in meditation or in healing, the mandalas represent the universe, the sacred circle of life, and other spiritual symbols, such as harmony, wholeness, and unity.
The main thing is to choose one that represents something special for you in a given moment, something that catches your attention; If you are going to create one, consider not only symmetry but its meaning. Keep this in mind as you focus on it, on the design elements and colors.
These thoughts are what will help you to materialize the mandala and to enter that state of abstraction. The mandala connects you with the here and now.
Creating an original Mandala
Once you have an understanding of mandala making, you may want to create one from scratch. This is a satisfying experience since it can be individualized both in the design and in color, or it can even be drawn in pairs when there’s a supreme astral affinity.
You may want to listen to some relaxing music, but it is always a good idea to take some deep breaths and relax before you begin. It’s about being in a relaxed state.
Start by drawing a circle, then keep drawing smaller circles and shapes from the center towards its edges. You could draw in the middle of the circle something that has some meaning for you. Sometimes, another circle, a diamond, a triangle, this will be your “motive” or theme.
Change forms, or colors, look for asymmetry. Keep thinking out new patterns by expanding outwards, moving towards the edges of the circle. We can put as many rings (layers) as we want. A mandala only ends when one says it. Once the mandala is finished, be sure to put it in a place where you can see it every day, use it during your meditations.
Mandala forms and its meanings:
The circle refers to things that don’t have a specific name or can be unified. The central point of this circle represents the divine or more specifically the self.
The horizontal line: this line is what separates and divides the upper part of the world from the lower one; a line that symbolizes the mother energy.
Vertical lines: is the line responsible for uniting the earthly world with the sacred and symbolizes energy.
The spiral: A common element in all the mandalas that means the development and dynamics of the inner process.
Mandala colors and its meanings:
Blue is the color of the sky and the water; Blue express receptivity, creativity and spiritual power. It opens the door to imagination, dreams and the unconscious. It is very relaxing and elevates the quality of decision, the originality, and organization.
Yellow is the color of the sun, expresses joy, renewal, and communication. It develops intellect and sense of responsibility. Gold represents contact with the divine.
Purple promotes inner awareness, reflects dignity, nobility and self-respect. It is “the color of royalty. On a psychic level, its quality is in line with vision and insight: purple becomes the creator of human destiny.
Orange is outgoing and decided, like red, but in a more constructive way. It reflects the enthusiasm combined with a natural and instinctive vivacity. It brings self-confidence, strength, and courage.
Red is the symbol of the renewal of life and the strengthening of vital energy. Extroverted people prefer it as a sign of its openness, energy, and activity. The dark red color harmonizes the basic chakra and fights the energy shortage to restore physical strength.
Turquoise encourages the creative communication. Gives the necessary opening to show your creativity, to express yourself directly from the heart, free from fears and vulnerabilities. It promotes independence and the ability to take responsibility for their feelings and actions.
Green helps us find our space. It brings peace to the emotions through calm and balance. It is the color of the heart chakra, which opens and calms; It also helps to expand to breathe.
Pink is the commitment to love ourselves and others; it covers us in a cordial atmosphere that helps us to give the best of ourselves.
Hi, my name is Sarah. I believe everyone is born with numbers unique to them. These numbers reveal the depths of your personality, how you interact with other people, and challenges you may encounter throughout our life.