Lately I have been obsessed with looking at images of Mandalas, partly because I’m feeling the need to add to my tattoo collection (I only have 3, so not quite sleeved up just yet).. The images I have been looking at contain many beautiful patterns and colours that can keep you engaged for quite some time, as you soften your gaze you notice something different each time making it hard to believe that it is the same image.
The word Mandala comes from the ancient Indian language known as Sanskrit, you may be familiar with some Sanskrit words if you attend yoga classes as these are often used to describe yoga poses in the class. For example, Trikonasana is the Sanskrit word for Triangle Pose. The word Mandala is loosely translated as ‘Circle’. A Mandala represents wholeness and reminds us of our relationship to the infinite i.e. that the world extends both beyond and within our minds and body. The circle describes both material and non-material realities and it appears in all aspects of life, such as the sun, moon, the earth, it also appears in our day-to-day lives e.g. a circle of friends or family (source http://www.mandalaproject.org).
Mandalas are literally circular diagrams that are a maze of patterns, usually made up of squares and triangles, but always showing a circle in the middle.
Often a Mandala can resemble the Lotus flower so will often be seen in many yoga texts and books. These ancient symbols are used for meditation, healing and art therapy to name but a few for both children and adults. Clinical studies have shown that Mandalas can boost the immune system, reduce stress and increase relaxation and even ease depression. Imagery is a great tool for meditation practice. There are now many books available including Mandala colouring books for both adults and children. Colouring in a Mandala is highly therapeutic, not only does it teach you stay in the lines, the task of colouring also has a very meditative aspect to it. When I used to teach yoga to children one of the tools we were given were Mandala colouring, for those children who were more extrovert and required more calm they would be encouraged to colour from the outside in and for those children who needed a little more encouragement they would be invited to colour from the inside out.
It’s amazing that such an intricate diagram could hold so many benefits and be so powerful…
There are many sites on line that go into great detail of the benefits of Mandalas but also just the sheer amount of amazing images that are out there, so have a look you never know what you might find and be drawn to.
So I continue my search for my Mandala with the possibility of making it a permanent pattern..