What is a Mandala?
Chances are you’ve heard of a mandala before! A mandala is a geometric design consisting of various shapes arranged in a circular pattern. Mandalas originated in ancient times as spiritual symbols to accompany meditation practices and to help focus the mind. The intricately symmetrical nature of mandalas gives them an aesthetic of zen, peace and beauty.
Mandala, a symbol of the universe
In Buddhism, mandalas are considered a symbol of the universe. The creation of a Mandala in Buddhism is considered to represent the transformation of suffering into happiness. It is a tradition amongst Buddhist monks to create large intricate mandalas out of colorfully dyed grains of sand. In ancient times when dyed sand was not available, colorful stones were crushed into a powder and used instead. According to Buddhist tradition, mandalas can help emit positive energy into the surrounding environment and promote healing. Mandalas are used as a tool in Buddhist meditation to help you feel centered and calm. Because mandalas are symmetrical, it is natural for our attention to be drawn to the center. Our minds are drawn in and captured by the intricacy of the design which can help to keep other distracting thoughts at bay.
Mandala in the popular culture
Recently, mandalas and mandala artwork have experienced quite the renaissance across the world! Thanks to the rise of the mindfulness movement and the ever-increasing popularity of meditation practice, mandalas have found their way into popular culture. You’ll often find mandalas featured in adult coloring books geared towards relaxation, and you’ll even find mandala designs on fashion accessories and other decorative items.
How Mandalas Help reduce stress
Multiple studies and research initiatives have shown that creating mandalas has a plethora of benefits. It has been found that drawing and/or coloring mandalas can reduce stress and anxiety levels. There is also evidence to show that engaging in mandala art can decrease depression and reduce symptoms caused by trauma. Making mandala art can also heighten your self-awareness, improve your creativity skills and contribute to your overall sense of wellbeing. There are also several cognitive benefits of making mandalas. Making mandala art can improve your ability to concentrate and focus. Drawing or coloring an intricate mandala requires you to exercise careful attention and to choose a variety of pleasing colours. Thus, you are employing both creativity and focus. Creating intricate mandala art can also help to strengthen your motor skills. Clearly, there is much to gain and nothing to lose when it comes to harnessing the magic of mandalas!
Indeed, there’s no denying that there’s something entrancingly beautiful and soothing about looking at mandalas. They just exude a certain soft tranquility that’s almost hard to describe. In this day and age where fast-paced lifestyles are the norm, who wouldn’t want to come home to some peace and zen?
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