Mandala: A Means to Explore and Heal my Inner-Self
By: Smita Nayak
Simply gazing at the circular symphony of shapes and patterns evokes a feeling of calm and contentment representing the connection between our inner world and outer reality. Exploring designs and letting your mind think out of the box, feels exhausting, right? But once you start doing it, you will come to know how fascinating it is.
What is a mandala?
The meaning of the word “mandala” in Sanskrit is circle and it refers to the sense of wholesomeness. The term Mandala is derived from two different words, “la” and “manda”, which means container and essence. The geometric Mandala designs are supposed to represent different aspects of the universe and are used as instruments of meditation, ceremonial rituals, mainly in China, Japan, and Tibet. Mandala is also a religious and ritual symbol in Hinduism and Buddhism, representing the universe. The circular designs represent that everything is connected, and the life is never ending. Mandalas also symbolizes the spiritual journey of one’s inner self. The strokes begin from the centre of the canvas, from there different patterns and designs radiate out in circles hiding layers of meanings. The primary use for mandalas is as a form of meditation to gain knowledge from within. The mandalas are symbolic images which when meditated on can bring profound inner transformation.
For me, mandalas have been a savior. I came to know about this art form when Covid pandemic hit the world and a lockdown was enacted. I was totally astonished by the different shapes, patterns and colors it had. I would gaze at those patterns for hours; and before I knew it, Instagram became my tutor and I began exploring this art form. The first time I made a mandala, I found difficulty in concentrating. I knew I lacked focus and patience, and this was the thing which could help me build those. So, I kept on trying different patterns and designs. I noticed improvement in myself, I became more composed, more engrossed in anything I did and most importantly, it helped me reduce my anxiety. I’ve been hooked with mandalas since then. Whenever I feel anxious, this is the only thing which helps me to calm down and think properly. Soon, I started creating my own patterns and now I have my own Instagram page where I post my new mandala designs and get driven every single time anyone appreciates me. The resulting art is always an ideogram, contemplation, introspection, healing and a blessing — all in one, whichever way one looks at it.
Mandala and Therapy
Times have been extremely tough after the Covid-19 pandemic hit the world. We all were confined in our homes; everyone had to suffer a lot because of the emergence of coronavirus outbreak. Various psychological problems and important consequences in terms of mental health including stress, anxiety, depression and frustration emerged progressively. Some people lived alone and that loneliness led to major anxiety issues. These are the times when we should try distracting our minds from all the negative news and start investing our time and mind in something therapeutic. I highly recommend trying this art form. Drawing mandalas as a form of art therapy is considered to relieve stress, anxiety and calms your mind. Your mandala is your secured circle where you try out different patterns and designs depending on what your mind is contemplating. There are various therapy sessions where people are told to execute this form of art. The different colors in mandala have different meanings.
RED: Strength, subjugation and passion
PINK: Love, intuition and the feminine
ORANGE: Creativity, transformation and self-awareness
YELLOW: Restraint, laughter and nourishment
GREEN: Physical healing, psychic ability, love of nature and caring
BLUE: Emotional healing, inner peace, wisdom and meditation
PURPLE: All things spiritual
BLACK: Mystery, deep thinking and individuality.
These colors define how your mind thinks when you’re focusing on something. I’ve seen people getting intimidated by watching the process to draw a mandala, but when they’re told that anyone — whether they know how to draw or not, can do it; they ease up and get amazed. This has been a rumor about mandalas, that they need to be absolutely perfect; but the fact is that they just have to be what you actually have inside your minds; they’re just an artistic representation of your inner self.
I started practicing mandala art with simple tools, a pen, pencil, compass and a scale. And honestly, I still use the same things but in a bigger version. Anyone can start practicing mandalas using just these simple tools and can see improvement in themselves mentally. Consistency is the key. To be close to perfection in this art form, one needs to be consistent, dedicated and patient. People can easily back off from this as it requires immense level of patience to be better and better each day. Once you start getting your own ideas and designs, you can explore with different colors, different types of pens, different sizes and also different canvases.
How to draw mandalas of your own
· Drawing Sheet
· Gel Pen (of any color)
1. Take a drawing sheet and draw some circles using the compass.
- Using the same center point, draw consecutively bigger circles around the first one. (It doesn’t matter if the circles are equal distant apart or if their distances vary. You just want them to all start from the same center point, so everything is symmetrical.
- Once you’ve drawn some circles, making a target shape on your paper, draw a vertical line down the middle of your circles in pencil. You will eventually erase the pencil work.
4. Draw a horizontal line through the middle of the circle drawing plus sign.
5. Split up those pieces into further parts again as many as you like. Now this grid is your parameter, which you will erase later.
6. And now comes the most interesting part! Starting from the centre, draw whatever shape or design you want to. If you find difficulty in getting the ideas, take inspiration from Instagram and Pinterest. Repeat the design in the wedge next to it and again to the next one and so on , rotating the page until the all the wedges are done. Do you see the start of your art?
- Keep working your way outward using the circles and lines as your markers. This helps keep the symmetry in your mandala. Just keep drawing the same shape in each wedge and working outward every time you complete a full circle.
NOTE: This is supposed to be a relaxing art for you, don’t judge yourself for not drawing perfect straight lines, circles or designs. Just focus on calming your mind and increasing your patience level every time you attempt it. Simply start from the centre and work your way out. Start small and slowly, be kind to yourself.
The idea of making mandala is to zone out from the day to day things happening in your life and just focus on your inner peace and work on improving that, to let yourself enter a creative flow state. So, turn on some relaxing music, light some scented candles and start your mandala.
My Instagram page: https://www.instagram.com/sublimescribble/
Reference- Google: https://www.colorit.com/pages/mandalas-to-color