A mandala is an ancient and sacred art form that you can use to find harmony and balance and possibly some nuggets of wisdom for your personal journey.
Believed to be a symbolic map of the Universe, mandalas have been used for centuries to help seekers create order and balance out of chaos and disruption, and as a way to connect with the sacred and higher purpose of life. There is ancient symbolic power in mandalas, and still today mandalas have power to help us stay grounded and calm in the midst of our own chaos. And to connect with our inner wisdom.
A mandala is an intricate, circular, geometric composition created to provide wisdom for your spiritual journey. The creation and contemplation of a mandala can help you to find insights, to release negative energy and relax your mind.
One of my favourite meditations is to create a natural mandala. Making a natural mandala is a contemplative practice that is part wandering meditation, part mindfulness practice, part creative project. It’s a form of meditation that offers the perfect opportunity to practice staying grounded in the present moment and to be aware of every detail of your sensorial experience. And it also teaches us about the power of letting go.
Creating a natural mandala is about connecting with nature and tuning into your experience within nature as you create a piece of meditative, ephemeral art. It’s about creating your own mandala on the ground using natural elements that you find around you. It’s fun, creative and easy to do. And I invite you to try it yourself. Here’s how.
First, set your intention for the creation of your mandala. This practice can support any intention you have for your home practice or for your personal journey. Or your intention can be as simple as to stay grounded and to practice building awareness of your present moment experience.
Then take a walk around your garden, the park, the woods or the beach and collect whatever inspires you to create your mandala. The gathering of your elements is a key part of this practice, it’s the way to connect with nature as you notice the details of your surroundings and all the sensations you are experiencing.
You might use any or all of the following:
…whatever appeals to you.
Find a flat place on the ground with enough space for your mandala. I use large flat flagstones in my garden. You could also use an outdoor table, a deck or patio. Or create your mandala right where you collect your elements; clear a space on the forest floor or a sandy spot on the beach.
Mindfully create your circular mandala while keeping your intention in mind. You do this by placing your elements in circles, repeating patterns, adding rings and layers of elements until you are satisfied with your work of art. It doesn’t matter if it’s perfect. It’s the journey that counts, not the final creation. Whatever you create, it will be simply beautiful.
Notice the details and all the sensations as you are collecting your natural elements and creating your mandala. Notice:
The shapes of each element
The texture, the touch of them
The smell of the leaves, the flower petals, the herbs that you picked
The many colours and shades of each
The connections and repetitions you can create by putting the elements together
The patterns of your final creation
When you are finished, meditate on your mandala for as long as you like. Your mandala is a work of art and also a tool you can use to connect with your inner wisdom and with something great than yourself. Stay with your experience as you direct your eyes and your mind from the outside of the circle you’ve created (your outer experience) toward the centre (your self). Simply be present to the experience.
You may also reflect on these questions:
How did you feel while you were gathering and placing your elements?
How do you feel after creating your mandala?
How does it feel to contemplate it?
Do you see any symbolic meaning in the shapes you have created?
When you have finished your meditation, let your mandala go. You can leave your work of art in place for the wind to carry away or the earth to reclaim it. Or gather it up and take it to a river, lake or a stream and release the petals and leaves. By doing this, you symbolize the impermanence of life and remind yourself that everything is constantly moving and changing.
The HUM mandalas…
Everything HUM is designed with love, intention, and careful attention to the tiniest detail. The beautiful and meaningful patterns you see on the fabrics of our meditation cushions and other offerings are the unique language of HUM. Now that you know the power of mandalas, you will understand why I’ve chosen to use then as the central motif for the custom designed HUM fabrics.
The beautiful HUM fabric designs have been specifically created to subtly support your practice with patterning on pattern, message inside message—sacred geometry and the resonant treatment of our mantra, our word - HUM - in vibrant mandalas.
So that you always have this meditative tool, this symbol of balance and harmony, close at hand to support you in your practice and to ground you as you move through you personal journey of transformation, from one state of being to another.
Learn more about the inspiration behind the HUM patterning here. And discover all the HUM fabrics on our meditation cushions and yoga bolsters.
And for more information about mindfulness have a look at this 2 part series:
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