I organise and facilitate many Mandala Art Making workshops in Brighton, UK. One of the first questions I get asked is, “what is a Mandala?”. I anticipated this question would come up but when the time came to answer the question I realised the complexity of it! When asked about something that relates too infinitely I don’t feel qualified to answer. Nevertheless, I took a deep breath and responded as honestly as I could.
My response was, “Mandalas are infinite, they are in nature, the cosmos, religion, art, geometry, DNA, and their shapes are all around us”. I explained I was not an expert and Mandalas are in my life because of my search for truth and meaning in my own life. I gave them the following definition, which sums up mandalas for me.
‘Mandala is a circle filled with geometric patterns that creates a hypnotic state, which allows your creative mind to explore and switch off from worries and work.‘
I explained using the Mandala Art Maker to create a Mandala would connect them to their own uniqueness. We talked about mindfulness and I said, “they would become naturally mindful when using the MAM but would need to concentrate to bring their minds back to the mandala when other thoughts arose”. If they let their minds wonder too much on worries and woes they would probably make a mistake and have to start again. I explained that concentration and mindfulness go hand in hand and this is the practice of mindfulness when creating the Mandala.
As-well-as practicing mindfulness the students would make a beautiful, contemporary, framed mandala that they could take home and hang on their wall, and when they looked at it in the future it would have a positive effect their minds yet again. I demonstrated how to use the Mandala Art Maker (see below for instructions and video) and then they began to create their own. It was beautiful to watch them become so engrossed in their creations, the room went quiet and everyone fell into themselves and their mandalas. There was a comfortable silence, which is rare these days, where everyone relaxed. Occasional comments made were, “its making me go within, and is so absorbing”. Stories about where the mandala was taking them were shared too.
- Place the outer part of the Mandala Art Maker ridge side up, on a piece of paper
- Hold (or tape) the outer Mandala art maker in place
- Take a deep breath – relax
- Place the centre Mandala shape in the middle of the outer shape
- Rotate your pencil around the mandala shape.
I love spending my time bringing people together and providing them with the opportunity to be creative and mindful. Some of the feedback from workshops is as follows:
“Very meditative, gentle, we could go at our own pace and produced a mandala to take home – fun. Great interaction with others in the room.”
“Loved the energy and pace of the session – very well facilitated – thoroughly enjoyed”
“Very inspiring and creative. Nice atmosphere and we all produced some great work.”
Look for Mandalas in your life and share your findings in the comments box below.