What is a mandala?
Mandalas come in many different sizes, shapes, and styles, however at its core meaning a mandala is simply a circle within another circle. They have been used in Eastern religion for thousands of years and are a central practice of Hinduism, Buddhism and can even be found is some Christian iconography.
Mandalas are often symbolically associated with some sort of palace or in other words a goal, that can be found at the center most point of the mandala.
The palace is then surrounded by a ring which has four “gates” which point to the four corners of the world and often times resemble an upper cate “T”. The gates are then surrounded with multiple circles that serve as barriers to the gates and the palace. Many times these circles are made up of images that try to tell a story or teach the reader something like a religious teaching or some form of deep knowledge.
When all of this is taken in, mandalas can really have many different meanings. Most often however they can symbolize the universe, and outside its gates we can find the oceans and the continents. Other times the gates can be guarding enlightenment or a spiritual deity.
Mandalas are everywhere
If we accept mandalas for what they are in their simplest context - a circle within a circle, then they truly are all around us and are a beautiful symbol for the universe as whole.
Think about how many things in nature feature some form of a circle within a circle. A blooming flower, a chicken egg with a golden yolk inside, the tree rings on a tree, our planet in the solar system. Nature is filled with simple mandalas.
Many of the religions that actively practice the creation of mandalas believe that by creating a mandala you can become one with nature by copying the design that it has used in so many of the things around us.
How does coloring mandalas help me?
Mandalas can have tons of detail in them and coloring them may seem like a cumbersome task, but it is actually quite enjoyable.
When you are about to start coloring your mandala remember what a mandala is. It is a palace protected by gates and around those gates are patterns that further protect the palace in the center.
To get the full benefit of coloring a mandala start from the outside perimeter and do not move inwards until you have completely finished it. As you begin to color further and further inwards with reaching that “palace” as a goal allow your mind to run free.
Turn on some relaxing music, pour yourself a glass of wine, or brew some mellow tea, and allow yourself to get lost in the colors and patterns. The deeper in the mandala you go, and the longer you stay focused, the more your breathing will slow down and you will enter a state similar to the one that people experience while meditating. When you finish the mandala or decide to stop you will feel relaxed and light which will gift you with more energy and focus for the rest of the day.
While coloring mandalas is a rewarding experience in it of itself it also teaches patience and focus. By starting on the outside ring of the mandala and slowly moving in towards your goal, the palace, you will learn that often the biggest rewards in life require patience. As long as you stay focused on your goal and have the patience required to reach it you will eventually enter through the gates and claim your reward.
Check our awesome adult coloring book set which features over 40 mandala designs sure to help you relax, focus, and achieve your dreams
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