The mandala is a circular image or structure. The word mandala literally means “circle” in the ancient Indian Sanskrit language and represents psychological and spiritual wholeness. It suggests the circular organisation of life itself and represents the entire cosmos, from the smallest cell to the largest planet.
Meditating on a mandala, and colouring it, is a practise that can bring you into a deeper knowledge of yourself and your reality, and leads to a sense of relaxation, calm and wellbeing.
Drawing and painting your own mandalas is a wonderful and relatively easy practice. You can simply use a dinner plate to make a circle and then add colour, lines, shapes and images with a pen and paint, or you can make a collage of images that attract you; you can also meditate while colouring pre-drawn mandalas (you can find countless colouring books on Amazon). As you work, observe what emerges and then contemplate its meaning in your life.
Gather a variety of colours across the spectrum from warm to cool, take all the mediums you can get: pencils, pens, crayons, chalks, markers, paints… you will not know what feels right until the meditation has begun. Stay focused on the process and meditate as you colour.
I have found colouring mandalas to be the perfect meditation practise during quarantine as it is something that you can do with your children – of course they will colour their Paw patrol book instead of mandalas, but at least you are enjoying time together and everyone is happy!
MEDITATION ON TIME
1. Begin by meditating on your breathing for five minutes. Try not to think of anything and stay focused on your out-breath. After five minutes note how the passage of time felt for you. Did it pass quickly or did it seem longer than five minutes?
2. Begin colouring the mandala anywhere you desire. As you colour, think about your relationship with time. Do you feel you never have enough time or that there is always time to achieve the things you need to do? Do you procrastinate or use the pressure of time as motivation to get things done?
3. Think of activities that make time stand still for you or that suspend your sense of the passage of time. Do you forget time when you are reading an exciting novel or watching a film that completely engrosses you? Do you forget what time it is when you are with someone you love?
4. Our sense of time can expand or contract, yet our time on Earth is finite and limited. Are you usually conscious of what you are doing? Do you make good choices for the way you spend your time?
5. If you knew you were going to die in a year, what would you do differently? How would you spend the time you have left? What would you do that you haven’t yet done? What would you stop doing?
6. Complete you mandala and meditate on how you use the precious time you have on Earth.