Mandala’s are sacred pieces of artwork which are used to evoke healing, spiritual development and meditation.
The word Mandala means ‘sacred circle’ and is derived from the word ‘mandra’ which means ‘container of essence’.
This circle or ‘container of essence’ is said to represent wholeness, health, connection, unity, harmony and the cycle of life. It is also said to symbolize being one with life, going with the flow and reflecting inward.
Mandala’s also contain geometric patterns which reflect and represent the geometry of the entire Universe. They usually have a focal point in the center which is known as the seed and is the starting point to the creation of the Mandala and all of life.
Mandala’s can be traced back through many ancient cultures including the Native Americans, Australian Aborigines, Hinduism and Buddhism. Through all cultures however, the creation of a Mandala is often a sacred process that can take weeks to complete.
All Mandala’s are created from the center out and take on their own shapes, colors and patterns depending on the message or healing that is being evoked.
A traditional Buddhist Mandala also includes four quadrants which are said to represent loving kindness, compassion, sympathy and equanimity. These quadrants are also adorned with the colors- white, yellow, red, green and blue which are said to heal the delusions (ego) that obscure the soul.
White: heals ignorance and turns it into acceptance, purity and wisdom
Yellow: heals pride and turns it into oneness, compassion and abundance
Red: heals attachments and fear and turns it into confidence, freedom and power
Green: heals jealousy and turns it into unconditional love, understanding and accomplishment
Blue: heals anger and turns it into self-reflection, self-expression and intuitive perception
There is also rich symbolism to all of the lines, patterns and markings on a mandala and many psychologists, including Carl Jung have studied the sacred meaning and healing potential of Mandala’s.
It is believed that when you create, color or look at a Mandala that you are silently programming the mind to take on the essence of oneness or completion.
Meditating upon the center of the Mandala is also believed to help you enter into the rich symbolism of the artwork and decode the messages that you need to take away from the Mandala.
Jung also used Mandala’s with his patients and even instructed them to create their own. He discovered that the symbols from the Mandala’s were able to be subconsciously absorbed into the individuals mind, bringing about healing and self-reflection.
“It became increasingly plain to me that the Mandala is the center. Is is the exponent of all paths. It is the path to the center, to individuation.”- Jung
Today, Mandala’s are being used as a form of art therapy or meditation to help those suffering with mental illness, debilitating diseases, life challenges, stress and more.
3 Ways to Use Mandala’s for Healing
1.) Mandala Meditation
Choose a Mandala that appeals to you. You may find it easier to select a Mandala if you take a moment to set your intention for your healing first.
Once you have chosen your Mandala begin by focusing on the center of the circle. It is through this point that you can ‘enter’ the Mandala and journey through the symbolism.
When you feel focused enough, move your attention to other areas of the Mandala. Allow your eyes to take in the beautiful patterns and colors and stay present with any thoughts or feelings that arise.
If you start to become distracted, gently bring your attention back to the Mandala, allow it to absorb all your attention and focus.
As you begin to ‘fall’ deeper and deeper into the Mandala, continue to relax and breathe. You may begin to experience feelings of peace and joy or you may hear intuitive or Divine messages.
Just go with the flow of your experience and release all expectations. Start with around 10-15 minutes per day and work your way up from there.
2.) Creating a Mandala
Creating your own Mandala can be a very healing experience. Use your intuition to guide you as to what medium you want to use for your Mandala. Some suggestions include- sand, water colors, crayons, pastels, pencils, paint, flowers, leaves, rocks, gems etc.
Set your intention for your Mandala and what type of healing you want to evoke. Perhaps spend a few minutes meditating upon your intention.
Once you are ready, begin creating your Mandala, working from the inside out. There are really no rules with how to create a Mandala. This is your project, follow your intuition and allow your heart to guide you.
Continue focusing on your intention as you create and draw, there is no right or wrong, so allow yourself to go with the flow and feel the beautiful energetic connection to your work.
Once you have created your Mandala you can use it for your own meditations or hang it in a place that you can regularly gaze at it.
3.) Coloring a Mandala
There are some beautiful Mandala sketches available for download or for purchasing online.
Think about your intention and then choose a Mandala accordingly. Once you have your Mandala, select the color theme. Allow your intuition to guide you. Perhaps also think about the spiritual significance of colors in your life, in nature and in the chakras.
Take a moment to clear your mind and honor your intention. Begin coloring your Mandala, using whatever medium you desire such as paints, crayons, water colors etc. Focus on your intention and remain open to the healing you may receive.
Again, there is no right or wrong with this so allow your intuition to guide you to choosing the right colors and textures.
How have Mandala’s helped you to heal?