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Mandalas and Mindfulness

Our mental well-being often ends up taking the back seat in today’s fast-paced and chaotic world. To work on it and push it towards enrichment, finding moments of peace and inner harmony becomes essential. A significant therapeutic tool that has gained attention in recent years for promoting mindfulness is the Mandala art.

It is based in the field of Art and Creativity, and involves drawing symmetrical patterns around a focal point. This activity paves a way for individuals to connect with their inner selves and feel grounded amidst the hustle and bustle of daily life.  

The word “mandala” originates from the ancient Indian language of Sanskrit, and has a simple meaning, that is, “circle”.  In the olden days, Mandalas were limited to the Hindu and Buddhist culture, where they were majorly used as spiritual symbols that signified ‘universe or wholeness’.

The centre represents ‘the self’ or a focal point of spiritual significance, while the overall circular design symbolises ‘unity, balance, and the cyclical nature of life’. Hence, the symmetrical geometric patterns carry profound symbolic meanings along with being visually appealing. 

Coming to the concept of Mandalas under the light of psychotherapy and mindfulness, it is a powerful tool that is deeply meditative and therapeutic since it involves the act of creating. Whether drawn, painted, or created with various materials, the repetitive and deliberate nature of crafting a mandala engages the mind and encourages mindfulness. The activity shapes the individuals’ perspective to focus on the journey rather than the end result.

Apart from Mandalas being a pathway towards mindfulness, both have similar principles. These principles encourage living in the current moment, emphasising presence and awareness. Here are some principles common in them:

  • Concentration and Focus

When creating a Mandala, one requires to focus on their work of art and concentrate. From repeatedly drawing the symmetrical patterns to colouring in the intricate details demands attention. This helps the mind to focus on the present moment.

  • Stress reduction

The rhythmic movements and the soothing nature of colours in Mandalas, promote a calm and centred state of mind. The calmness in turn induces a sense of relaxation helping one to reduce their stress.

  • Expression 

Since this activity involves creativity, it opens up doors for self-expression. It helps individuals to explore their emotions, thoughts and behaviour, and express them via drawing and colouring Mandalas. Overall, it provides an outlet for self-discovery and emotional release.

Using Mandalas as a way to cultivate mindfulness practices  provides an accessible road towards inner peace and self-awareness. Whether as a form of stress relief or artistic expression, Mandalas allow individuals to achieve balance in their lives. Hence, one can readily consider picking up a pen or pencil or some colours and start creating mandalas to move towards a mindful self. Here are some points to remember when creating a Mandala:

  • Start from the centre point

This will serve as an anchor for your design.

  • Symmetry is key

By mirroring each pattern on both sides of the central point, a sense of balance in the overall piece is portrayed.

  • Embrace Imperfections

Perfection is not the goal here, one must let go of the need for precision when creating a Mandala. 

  • Take your time

Allow yourself to create organically, since the therapeutic nature will only be upheld when it does not involve a deadline or time-limit.

Although these are some factors that one should keep in mind when creating a Mandala, there are no strict rules and regulations when it comes to creating mandalas. Since it allows one to freely explore and express their inner experiences it embraces a unique therapeutic quality. In the process of freely expressing oneself, they will tap into a state of mindfulness and relaxation.

Whether through deliberate strokes or a freestyle design creation, Mandalas push the person to the present moment. They readily experience a gateway into awareness and depths of  their consciousness.

Therefore, Mandalas can be used as a way to cultivate mindfulness practices that provide an accessible road towards inner peace and self-awareness. The basic fusion of Mandalas and Mindfulness creates an enriching experience for individuals trying to be aware about the present moment.

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