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Mandalaminds story

Travel and spirituality

Mandalaminds is a product of my travels around the world in search of  ‘the truth’. I found from my travels there is nowhere to go and nothing to find,  all roads lead back to me. I looked under every stone and rock, but nothing. I visited spiritual houses and countries, but nothing.  I followed religions and leaders, but nothing.  As a result, I went home even more lost than before I went away, I was broken and had lost my Buddha.

Lying Buddha Bankok

Mindfulness and drawing

Faced with the same issues I had left behind before my travels there was nothing else I could do but to sit still.  To cope with the moment and sitting still I was forced to  learn mindfulness and found I had a deep desire to be creative and learn to draw. Drawing bought me into the here and now and helped me to stop thinking about the past and future.

Father, mandala, joy and truth

One day I was telling my father about how I felt and he reintroduced me to the mandala. He showed me a prototype ‘Mandala Art Maker’ and said, “I have been thinking about you” when I saw it I felt moved!? I knew it was something special to me but I didn’t know how important. So, I drew, and drew, and drew mandalas in my bedroom for months. Then I started to see mandalas everywhere and in everything! In flowers, plants, man-made products, everywhere. I found my ‘truth’ finally. When we are in the moment and creating something of beauty (even better if it is sacred) we are in joy, and this to me is ‘truth’.

dad and his art

Madalaminds mission is to provide you with creativity and balance in your life.  It is for creatives and none creatives across a range of ages, countries, cultures and races. It has been said, “using the drawing tool is like coming home”. We hope you feel the same way.

What is Mindful Mandala Art Making?

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.

Mandala Art Maker
Mandala made with Mandala Art Maker

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.

Instructions

  1. Place the outer part of the Mandala Art Maker ridge side up, on a piece of paper
  2. Hold (or tape) the outer Mandala art maker in place
  3. Take a deep breath – relax
  4. Place the centre Mandala shape in the middle of the outer shape
  5. Rotate your pencil around the mandala shape. 

Click here to watch video

Sara holding a framed Mandala
Finished Framed Mandala

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.”

Challenge

Look for Mandalas in your life and share your findings in the comments box below.

Why I draw and colour Mandalas

They are spiritual

The word ‘mandala’ is Sanskrit (Indian language) for circle. It is a circle within a circle representing infinity in our universe. When I draw a mandala I feel connected to something bigger.

No drawing skills are neededSome mandalas are made of geometrical shapes.  We all know how to draw shapes and colour them in so minimal drawing skills are needed.  This makes creating mandalas available to everyone.   No two mandalas I draw are ever the same, making each one unique to me.

Play around with coloursMandalas are usually full of colour.  I love to experiment with the different colours and reflect on the colour meaning of the colours I chose that day. This helps me to think about (meditate) on why I might have chosen those colours and relate them to what is going on in my life at that time.  Not to mention the pure joy of  choosing and looking at different colour on my finished Mandala.  Sometimes I frame the mandala I have drawn and just sit and admire the colour.

Calms my mind

There is a calm when creating a mandala because of the repetitiveness of drawing circles and shapes.  As I focus on drawing my mandala I begin to forget any problems I have and as a consequence my anxiety reduces and I become mindful without even trying!

calm Buddha statue

Create something new

Before I began to draw I never imagined I could create anything!?  I didn’t consider myself to be a creative person, however, overtime I began to understand there is no right or wrong way to create something new. For example, sometimes I look at a mandala I have drawn and think that’s lovely, sometimes not, but when someone else likes it (especially when I did not),  I understand the this.  At the end of the process of creating I feel happy and proud to have made something for myself and others to enjoy.