Now that you’ve read about the concept of Mandala art and its history, you’re ready to learn how to create one and exercise the mandala’s power.
The core of mandala designs is the circle. You are not bound by any particular colors or materials to create your mandala art, so let your feelings and instincts guide you through the creative process.
Decide What Art Materials You Need
You will first need to select your drawing materials. Again, you are not limited here…some ideas to help you get started might be markers, watercolors, pastels, colored pencils, oils, etc. You will also need something to draw or paint on like a piece of paper, canvas, poster board, or anything else you can think of. I would suggest something around the size of 12×18 inches. If you have a compass lying around (or anything that will help you draw a circle), that would be helpful as well. Hint: you can use anything round and solid…a cup, a pan, or anything else that will help you draw nice clean circles.
A Good Location Is Important
It is also recommended that you create your mandala in a space that provides the least amount of distractions. The experience is meant to be a personal one. Unless, of course, you are participating in a group mandala.
In response to the September 11th tragedies, twenty Buddhist monks constructed a sand mandala (sacred painting) at the Sackler gallery. This seven-foot-square mandala, one of the largest ever created in the West, was offered for the healing and protection of America. In addition, the monks participated in chanting, meditation, and other traditional healing ceremonies.
Let Your Feelings & Emotions Inspire You
Again, there are no rules or constrictions with regard to mandala designs. You don’t have to use only circles, though your art should have some semblance of a circular design. Otherwise, you can do whatever strikes you. In fact, it’s encouraged to let your feelings inspire your mandala art and designs.
Your finished mandala will represent and reflect who you were at the time of creation. If you want, you can give your mandala a title and date of creation.
Now That You’ve Finished Your Mandala Art Activity
Once you’ve finished your mandala art activity, take note of the colors you used. Recognize, maybe even write down, what the predominant colors are in your mandala. Also take note of the least-used color(s). Now look at the images and shapes you’ve created. Take notice of any hard and soft lines, jagged or smooth edges. Are there any areas of high contrast? Now write down, in detail, your feelings and/or memories when you think about the colors, shapes, images, and designs on your mandala. You should be able to make some connections between your mandala and the feelings and emotions that you experienced while creating it.
This is meant to be a very personal and introspective activity and process, so the results are bound to vary. Again, it’s important to recognize that your mandala is a symbol, a reflection, of who you were when you created it. Ideally, the process of creating the mandala results in some form of self-healing, self-expression, and/or self-exploration.