Friday, November 6, 2009


A few years ago one of my friends who is artistic and was searching for a new way to express herself discovered the tranquility of mandalas. For those of you unaware about mandalas, it is a concentric diagram having both spiritual and ritual significance in Buddhism and Hinduism. In various spiritual traditions, mandalas may be employed for focusing attention of aspirants and adepts, as a spiritual teaching tool, for establishing a sacred space and as an aid to meditation and  trance induction.

My friend started designing and coloring many, many, many mandalas. She was going through a rough patch at the time and the drawings gave her peace and a place to engage her mind at so she could have a few moments of respite. Before I knew it, she had me and our other friends hooked on coloring the mandalas that she made or downloaded from the web. One Thanksgiving we were all together and about 6 of us spent our time after dinner happily coloring these mystical drawings and proudly showing off our work to each other.

Mandalas have been with us forever, they are considered sacred spaces. They can be drawn or created out of most anything. Buddhist monks make amazing ones out of sand like the one shown here at the right. They spend hours and hours creating them, the process is fascinating. People have constructed mandalas in their garden out of plants designed to form images with the bloom's colors. Mandalas are created out of tile on floors and walls out of fibers in material or made into hypnotic and stunning rugs. Artists are now making intricate and amazing images on their computers and uploading them. Go to google images and type in the word "mandala" you could look for hours at all the different interpretations and creations people made.

This one pictured at the right is called "Mandala Dementia" which seems fitting since mandalas are considered in Tibetan Buddhism representing the nature of experience and the intricacies of both the enlightened and confused mind, or "a microcosm representing various divine powers at work in the universe." Mandalas are even used in certain Jungian based theories as a method of helping to unlock information stored in unconsciousness to bring about transformation and healing. 

There is even something called "The Mandala Project". It is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting peace through art and education. The project offers a visual demonstration of people coming together to create something larger than themselves while maintaining their personal uniqueness. Check it out at

So, if you would like to experience the wonderment of making your own mandala go here to download printable pages of mandala outlines all ready to be colored in by you.

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