Since the first time I visited India I have always loved the colourful mandalas painted in the temples, walls, textiles and sometimes inner ceilings. So in connection with our latest Mandala Cushion Cover Collections I thought it may be useful to write a little bit about the meaning of mandalas and how they are being used as well as how to draw mandalas. We also offer a free mandala colouring ebook with 50 different designs that will be sent to you after entering your email below:
The meaning of mandala
The meaning of the word mandala in Sanskrit is circle. Mandala is a spiritual and ritual symbol in Hinduism and Buddhism, representing the universe. The circular designs symbolizes the idea that life is never ending and everything is connected. The mandala also represents spiritual journey within the individual viewer. So the first level is understanding the unity in cosmos and secondly each individual must find their own place within it. It is sometimes drawn as a circle enclosing a square with a deity on each side that is mainly used to aid in meditation and yoga. Mandalas have many uses apart from meditation as the the designs are meant to remove irritating thoughts and allow the creative mind to run free as well as relaxation. But ultimately people create and look at mandalas to center the body and mind.
How to use the mandalas in meditation
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. So the first step is to select a mandala that strongly appeals to you. Then you focus on the intention that you want to bring into your life and then take in the beautiful design of the mandala by gently gazing at the design. If your mind starts to think about daily stresses simply bring your focus back to the beauty of the mandala. The beauty of the mandala should absorb all your attention by being draw into the designs and colours. Gradually you will feel yourself more relaxed and a feeling of lightness and intuitive thoughts may arise. Allow yourself to float with it and if your thoughts starts to wander just relax and refocus your attention back on the mandala. The first time you meditate on mandala it is enough with 5 minutes and gradually build it up to 15 minutes as you get more experience.
How to draw mandalas
1. Draw a circle on a piece of paper using a compass or drawing around a round object such as a small plate or a mug. Find the centre of the mandala and draw a horizontal and vertical line through the center. You can keep slicing the circle into pies depending on how many points you want to add to the mandala.
2. Once you have divided the circle into 8 parts in this case (but you can slice the circle into more parts for more detailed designs) you draw a smaller center circle and more circles outside of it which does not necessarily need to be circular. They can be straight lines joining together with equal distance from the centre. You can add as many inner circles as you like depending on the design you choose to draw. Within each different layer or circle you can also add other shapes such as petals, squares, hearts or whatever shape comes into your mind.
3. Continue drawing motifs in bigger and bigger circles as you work towards the outside circle of the mandala. You can use different shapes such as flowers, geometric shapes, spirals, smaller circles, triangles, birds and so on. The shapes should be repeated though to keep it consistent as you introduces new shapes and lines to each part of the mandala. Introducing more lines and shapes within the mandala becomes more important at the outer circles of the mandala as there is more space to fill. Below to the left is a completed mandala where you can see it was divided into 8 equal parts initially with an inner smaller circle. The design that grew from the center on the left mandala was based on petals and line patterns going through certain parts of the mandala. Notice on the right hand mandala smaller circles have been used as main shapes for the design. The circles and lines that you started off with can later be erased if you choose to add different shapes - but they are useful as a guide when you start drawing the mandala.
Colouring the mandala
Lets first discuss the colours and their meaning. You may use certain colours to attract certain things into your life. Take a look at the table below for some colour meanings. Some people draw the mandalas and do the colouring out of meditative purpose and then the intention and the colours are important. Others draw the mandalas out of creative interest and relaxation and then the colours do not take such big importance apart from personal preference or intuitive flow.
|Red||Strength, more energy and passion|
|Pink||Love, femininity and intuition|
|Orange||Creativity, self-awareness, intuition & transformation|
|Yellow||Wisdom, learning, laughter and happiness|
|Green||Physical healing , psychic ability, nature and caring|
|Blue||Emotional healing, inner peace and meditation|
|Purple||All things spiritual, for spiritual focus|
|Black||Deep thinking, mystery and individuality|
The colouring of the mandalas is used as a healing tool and is associated with reducing stress and anxiety as well as combating depression whilst improving the immune system among other things. It also allows you express your creative side which often we are not able to do in our daily lives and stresses. To get started with the colouring of the mandala you can choose any medium such as colouring pencils, crayons, pastels, chalks or paint - whichever suits you best. Print the mandalas from the free ebook Indimode is offering for a limited period of time. Find a peaceful space where you can relax and start the colouring allowing any colour that enters your mind without analysing it too much or trying to match the colours. If you have an intention you want to meditate on you may want to look at the meaning of the colours from the table above. However, you should let your instincts guide you and the choice of colour will follow naturally. To download the free mandala colouring ebook enter your email and click on the download button below. The mandala colouring ebook will be sent to your email address provided on signing up to our news letter!