Have you ever gazed into a mandala? For most people, simply looking at the circular symphony of shapes and patterns arouses a feeling of calm and contentment.
Many spiritual traditions, consider the mandala to be a symbol for wholeness and connection and use it as a focal point for meditation, self-examination, and healing.
Does the mandala really make you whole?
The pattern of a mandala manifests in abundance in nature: in a flower, a snowflake, a spider web. Some believe it’s engraved into the deepest part of the human psyche, as it makes a common appearance in people’s dreams and in the visions of those with schizophrenia.
David J. Bookbinder is a present-day psychotherapist and a flower mandala artist. After a near-death experience over two decades ago, he has drawn to the healing power of mandalas, and found himself taking photographs of flowers.
“My motivation in creating these images was to heal. I began this project shortly after I bought my first digital camera and found myself shooting patterns of colour and light, rather than the people and buildings I had shot in my black-and-white days,” says Bookbinder.
Here’s a simple activity for self-discovery
Take a close look at the mandala. Take note of the patterns. Recognize, maybe even write down, what stands out in?
Now look at the image and shapes. 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 shapes, images and designs. You should be able to make some connections between the mandala and your feelings and emotions.
This is 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 and a reflection, of who you are especially when you created your own. Ideally, the process of creating it results in some form of self-healing, self-expression, and/or self-exploration. So try creating your own and do this simple exercise when you’re done. You’ll be amazed at how your feelings and emotions will inspire you.
You can lose yourself in the intricate world of colouring mandalas in the Adult Colouring Book.