The word Mandala is Sanskrit for “sacred circle” and represents balance, wholeness and harmony. Mandalas are most notably associated with the spiritual art of the Hindu, Buddhist, and Native American cultures.
This art form has been used for many years as a tool for insight, transformation and contemplation. The purpose of Mandala art is to use the center of a circle as a focus. As we draw within the circle, we let intuition be our guide. The process helps us to balance our conscious and subconscious mind. This balance can bring insight and awareness.
In Mandala art, we can create patterns, symbols and colors that reflect our inner-most thoughts. The experience of drawing in the circle helps us process our thoughts and feelings with a balanced, organized awareness. When we are done, our Mandala becomes a message (a reflection) of our connection to the self, and the result can be illuminating.
Creating a Mandala begins with drawing a circle. Mandalas arise from the compelling human need to know our own inner reality, to align this knowing with our body's wisdom, and to awaken in ourselves a sense of being in harmony with the universe.
Making a circle always brings order to things. Order begets patterns that the mind can grasp and understand.
In a circle, the center is always present and it attracts the eye. The capacity of the circle to catch and focus the attention means that we take less notice of what is outside the circle. Concentrating one's attention on one thing produces a general relaxation in the body. The breath deepens and the heartbeat slows. These physiological changes release the body's natural healing process.
* Source: "Coloring Mandalas," Susanne Fincher, Shambhala Publications, 2000