Mandalas - A Way Of Life
In the last article I spoke about how art came to me and how I started my journey with Mandalas. There are about a thousand questions asked whenever I talk about Mandalas. What are they? Why are they becoming so popular?
Well to start with, mandalas might be gaining popularity now because of pop culture and our recent adult coloring books but it’s origin dates back to hundreds of years.
Mandala, is a Sanskrit word ‘ मण्डल ‘ which literally means a circle. Not just Hindu scriptures, mandalas have been mentioned since literature existed in many Eastern cultures. The universe is represented in these circles that are used to practice rituals. Not just scriptures, the concentric symmetry of mandalas are in fact derived from nature and can be seen all around us, in the way a tree grows, the wind moves, the petals of a flower, the inside of a cabbage. Everything is in sync and harmony around is in nature, in the universe, and a mandala will make you in sync with nature and it’s elements.
For me personally mandalas have never been a religious symbol, they have been a liberating form of expression. To create my own universe in these circles and be in charge of them. Mandalas have been a tool of meditation for me and it’s one of the most effective ways to center yourself if sitting with legs folded and eyes closed isn’t your thing. The precise lines and delicate patterns make it almost impossible to think about anything else. They help you bring all your senses together in harmony to create a work of art; the hands working in coordination with the eyes, the ears listening to the pen flowing the ink on the paper, the whole process is like a choreography of your mind and body coming together to produce a fruit of joy. To be able to see all your stress and anxiety turn into something so magical, so beautiful is the greatest joy.
Not just drawing, you can create mandalas with everything in nature. Arranging flowers, pebbles, even drawing in the sand with a stick. Mandalas, just like life are about the journey rather the final outcome. It is about aligning yourself within yourself and with your surroundings, isn’t that what’s meditation about?
As therapy, mandalas are one of the easiest and most effective tools to help with anxiety and depression. This I say this with my personal experience. It brings control, it helps you take charge. The symmetry in mandalas plays a really important part in therapy. It brings out a sense of balance which can then be projected inwards into the mind and the soul. In the long run, they help in clearing emotional blockages, decrease impulsive behavior and increases focus which helps one to look at the brighter side of life. This of course is just a complimentary tool to therapy or any other medical help one needs, but a really effective tool.
Talking about Adult coloring books. One reason they are so popular is because they are the easiest way to have a creative output in a regular routine. Another reason is also because it connects you to your inner child, it takes you back to the simpler carefree times. It is also a really time efficient way to lift up your mood, to create a boost of positive energy in the mind.
All you have to start. Start with a dot on a page, the rest will flow, in time. Let yourself breathe. And remember healing takes time. But slowly and surely, one mandala after another, it gets better and it opens a thousand other gats to happiness and joy.
We’re all struggling. It’s never too late to take a charge of your life and work on making it better!
So pick up your pencils and colors and draw your own universe! I can’t wait to see what you all create.