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Meditative Drawing Exercise: At Home Mandalas’

By, Kelda E. Nelson, MPS, LCAT,ATR-BC

Mandala in Sanskrit means circle which represents the universe. Mandalas’ are spiritual and a ritualistic symbol within Hinduism and Buddhism. Circles are never ending; they go round and round and when looked at overtime can become meditative. Some of the most powerful parts of ourselves and the world we live in are shaped via a circle. Think of your eye, this is how you view everything.

The sun, the roots of a tree trunk, etc.. By drawing within a circular shape you too can have this meditative experience along with pictorial representation you can look back on for insight and self reflection. What your draw within the circle will mirror your inner world. Ideally after creating the mandala you will feel increased relaxation and decreased worry.

I will now provide you with simple steps to create your mandala at home. Its’ best to create multiple mandalas overtime and see how they change and alter in time depending on your mood. If possible please do this exercise in a quiet uninterrupted space.

You will need the following simple supplies:

  1. Blank piece of paper, any size of your choosing.
  2. Drawing materials that include at minimum basic primary colors.
  3. A round shape for tracing the circle on your page, a bowl or pot is ideal.
  4. A flat surface to draw on.
  5. Some relaxing music if possible.

Steps for creation:

  1. Trace a circle onto your white paper, the circle should take up the majority of the page.
  2. Put a small dot in the center of your circle.
  3. Start drawing from within the dot, don’t worry if you have no idea for content, just let yourself draw and see what happens. Try if possible to keep your drawing inside the circle but if you must go outside the lines please do as this is something you desire.
  4. When you are finished with your mandala (no time guidelines) possibly give your mandala a title as this will be nice to reflect on in time.

Additionally if you found this exercise enjoyable you may benefit from getting a drawing journal that’s just for Mandalas’ as this will allow yourself to easily view your Mandala trajectory.