For the past few years, colouring pre-designed mandalas either using templates from colouring-in books or downloaded from the internet, has been hugely popular and has inspired many people to colour-in as a way of enjoying some mindful quiet time. Colouring-in is another way of promoting focus and concentration, encouraging the “here and now” and colouring mandalas is a great meditative experience for people of any age. Colouring mandalas helps you to slow down and reconnect to the cyclical nature of time, the rhythms of nature and the reality of change.
The world “mandala” is Sanskrit for circle, completion or sacred centre and for centuries Hindus and Buddhists have used mandalas as an aid for meditation. Even in Western cultures, colouring mandalas has been used as a stress management and meditation tool. Carl Jung (1875 – 1961) a Swiss psychoanalyst was fascinated by mandalas as he found out that by colouring and drawing mandalas he could access the images and energy of his own unconscious mind. He then decided to use this art form in his practice with his patients, to facilitate their process of inner reflection.
In its simplest form a mandala is a geometric pattern that is said to represent the universe. The mandala represents a circle, the primal form of the universe and if you look carefully you can see mandala patterns everywhere. Take a look in your garden, notice the patterns in the plants growing there. Glance at the night sky, notice the moon (and the sun) are circular. Our earth is round and looking microscopically at atoms and cells you will notice they also take on a rounded form. Have you ever seen the cross section of tree trunks, really looked at flowers and even snowflakes if you are lucky enough to see enjoy an annual snow fall (we love the snow in this house). All these things I have mentioned, have geometric patterns. Next time you are out walking and there is water around, drop a pebble in the water and see how the circular water patterns naturally move from the centre outwards. When looking around us in nature, everything starts from a “growth point” and grows or moves outwards. Modern physics and mathematicians believe that everything has a “centre” or point from which everything emanates. The Hindus call this point a “bindu”, which is a sacred point.
Today, find some time to be outside and see how many mandala patterns you can see in nature.
Contact me here to find out about developing your own meditation practice and learning how to facilitate mindfulness in children and teenagers.