Mandala plays a significant role in therapy. In this way, a trained therapist uses geometric patterns to guide clients through various artistic processes in an attempt to help them achieve or maintain a sense of healthy mental balance. The concept of art therapy was in use many years before it was called that.
Psychologists have long been aware of the power of artistic expression in supporting psychological wellbeing. Today, many people receive art therapy to manage depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, grief, anger, and more. Mandalas have received a lot of attention in recent years.
Using Mandalas Within Art Therapy
Therapy professionals use mandalas in art therapy by inviting clients to paint a picture that reflects what they feel at that particular moment. Many people who practice mandalas find it calming and centering, while others find it helpful in identifying and containing negative emotions like fear, anxiety, and anger.
In mandala art therapy, it is fascinating to observe how every Mandala provides a window into the emotional state of its creator. In some practices, clients may keep a “mandala journal” that visualizes their emotional state over time. For children and adults, this may be valuable and effective.
What Are Mandalas?
The term mandala is taken from the ancient Sanskrit language, which means “circle”. Its meaning, however, goes way beyond a simple circle.
In their intricate patterns, Mandalas express the unity and harmony of life, the existence of all living beings, as well as the whole world. Throughout all of human history, mandalas have played a vital role in many of society’s traditions. They are all around us; they are formed by patterns with a circle within another circle.
Mandalas Are Everywhere
Examples of Mandalas are available everywhere. Do not consider them only a circular shape. Therapists, especially those who are into traditional methods, see the environment as a complex of Mandalas giving us signals and vibes. Flowers, fruits, human cells, planet earth, and surprisingly, the solar system are the actual Mandalas in our natural world. One should find the connection between them, then try to use them as a source of inspiration.
In the next part, we will take a look at some of those real Mandalas in our world, and we will find a way to utilize them for meditation or therapy.
Mandala Use in Therapy and Meditation
It is a complex pattern that can be seen from a micro perspective through to the macro perspective in the world as we know it. There are similar patterns found in natural phenomena such as astronomy, geology, chemistry, biology, and physics. So you can say that this pattern is something to see everywhere in the universe.
Cells are the basic unit of life on Earth, and each one is equipped with a nucleus. These nuclei are displayed as circles with centers. Again we can find a relation between the shapes in Mandala and the fundamental nature of ourselves.
Also, every atom in ice, rocks, and mountains symbolizes a mandala. Many people believe that these similarities and related patterns between Mandalas and other elements in nature can give us a bit of spirituality and a deeper understanding of what we are and what we can be. Not only those examples in ourselves but also many other things in our universe can be a Mandala and, simultaneously, a part of a bigger one.
Imagine the Milky Way and its many planets. All are orbiting around the sun, which is at the center of that circular orbit line. All in all, These pieces of art are so interesting and helpful for those who want to find the path of calmness and concentration. This comes from the connection between those similar patterns, and one can put a profound focus on them to start a healing journey.
Mandalas are everywhere, and it is the point about them.
Utilizing the Concept of Mandalas in Art Therapy
Mandalas have therapeutic and symbolic significance. Mandala art therapy can help you express your inner self through colors and shapes as you create it. In the process of creating the Mandala, let your instinct and feelings guide you through the journey. Then, after spending hours creating those Mandala Arts, you’ll be creating something as a reflection of yourself when you’re doing it.
This means, The Mandala art therapy will appoint whatever you are experiencing at the time, whatever emotions you encounter. The important thing is not the result but the journey. Once you reach the end of your journey, you will have a representation of something from your deep inside and meaningful, a moment captured in time, that you can cherish forever whenever you look at it.
Mandalas in Psychology
Mandalas were introduced to Western culture by the Swiss psychologist Carl Jung, who pioneered the use of the term to describe symbolic circle drawings. Inspired by Indian traditions and philosophy, Jung pulled parallels between his circular art projects and the ancient way of applying the same basic structure and form.
A person going through an intense period of self-growth may give birth to a mandala because they have an innate desire to do so, and the resulting artwork is symbolic of the psyche’s transformation.
Mandalas in Many Shapes
We talked about how the creation of a Mandala can bring the artist peace of mind and provide him or her with a focal point to direct their energy and thoughts. Hopefully, Mandalas are everywhere in every shape. This diversity helps us find our unique way to deal with Mandalas.
These days, Mandala comes in various shapes and forms, including painting, laser-cut sculptures, wood art mandalas, and other kinds of arts. If you are seeking therapeutic applications of Mandalas, there is a chance to get closer to them using new forms and creative products with Mandala art.
Intelligent artists make Mandala wood arts with laser-cut layers of wood. They have different elements and pictures on top, and you can easily find your favorite one to have cool geometric wall art in your bedroom, dining room, and your office.
How to Use a Mandala for Meditation?
Here you can see some tips or steps for meditation with Mandalas. These are not the only actions you can take, but you can get inspired by having a daily routine, doing them:
- Try to find a place in front of yourself for the Mandala. Your Mandela can be either flat on the ground or on a wall; both options are fine.
- Place your feet on the ground or cross your legs comfortably in front of your favorite Mandala.
- Take a deep breath from your diaphragm to let go of the tension. Think of the circular pattern in the Mandala as you exhale your breath.
- Lie on your back and gaze at your mandala, relaxing your eyes so the mandala goes out of focus and the picture will become blurry.
- Allow the image to come into focus by concentrating on your breathing and letting it fill your mind.
- Take a deep breath and pay attention to the shapes, colors, and patterns.
- When your mind wanders, refresh it by returning to the mandala.
- This should be done for a minimum of five minutes.