Mandalas for Mindfulness
Creating art is not just for artists – everyone benefits from art making – evidence shows it helps us in so many ways: art improves attention, reduces stress and anxiety, improves problem solving skills, improves fine motor skills, increases confidence and self-esteem. Drawing a mandala is a great way to start a daily art practice because it doesn’t require any formal art training or any special tools, just paper and a pencil. The design of a mandala grows from the center and can include any shapes you choose.
A mandala is a geometric pattern created within a circular area and often represents wholeness or the universe. Jung writes in Man and His Symbols that the mandala is a representation of the self and by creating a mandala we can integrate our conscious and unconscious thoughts and use the process as a tool for self-awareness. The circle is also one of the first symbols we learn to draw as a child, often as a representation of the self. We see mandalas in nature from seeds to planets. Flowers grow and radiate out from the center; the age of a tree is marked by the rings from the center; even everything we look at is through the circular lens of our eye.
How to Create a Mandala
– Download and print the Mandala sheet if you would like guidelines to get started. The mandala sheet has circles and lines that divide a square area into equal portions to help you keep your mandala centered. This is helpful when beginning to draw mandalas.
– View the video example of creating a mandala
– Start your mandala by placing a dot in the center – this is you – your birth – your existence in this world.
– Draw lines through your dot in the shape of a + and an x dividing the center into 8 sections
– Next, choose a shape to add to each section of the mandala and create that shape in each of the 8 sections. For example, you may choose to draw a circle at the end of each of your lines that divided your center dot.
– Next, you may want to connect the sections by drawing a half circle, flower petal type shape, from one circle to the next all the way around.
– Continue growing your mandala for the 5 minutes you have set aside
watch a video of making a mandala here