Make a mandala
Get crafty and creative by creating your own calming Mandala out of readily available natural materials.
After a very wet winter, it is a joy to see and feel the season changing into spring and early summer. In these tricky and uncertain times, it can also be calming to see that despite the human world being turned upside down, nature keeps on turning, renewing and thriving.
A mandala is an intricate picture made on the ground and traditionally used in Tibetan Buddhist religion as a form of meditation to heal and concentrate the mind. The word “mandala” means, “circle”. These iconic shapes can be found in modern and ancient cultures across the world and are used to represent wholeness and connection to the natural world. They are often symmetrical and are made of coloured sand or natural materials.
Using fresh, organic growth for your mandala can be a lovely, calming nature activity that can be done inside or out. If you don’t have an outdoor space you could draw your mandala using the natural colours of this time of your and copying pictures of spring flowers online.
WHAT YOU WILL NEED
- Any natural materials you can find (twigs, leaves, feathers, abundant flowers, fallen seed pods)
- A clear space on the floor or table
STEP BY STEP
1. Find your calm
Mandala are often used to focus the mind and find a sense of peace and quiet. Before you start making your mandala, take a few slow, deep breathes in and out and try to still your mind from the business of life.
2. Careful foraging
Now that you feel calm, you can go out to collect some natural materials from your garden or outdoor space.
At this time of year, plants and trees are busy producing flowers for pollination and leaves for photosynthesis, so try to collect things that have already fallen to the floor. If you do collect flowers, leaves and seed pods directly, only collect from plants you know as a lot of plants can sting or be poisonous and only take them when they are abundant.
Consider the shape, colour and texture of the things you find. How will they look together?
3. Start at the centre
Spread out your materials to see what you have collected. A mandala often starts from the centre and moves outwards, is there something within your collection that will make a perfect centre point?
Place your item in the centre of your workspace leaving lots of room around the sides to build up your mandala.
4. Symmetrical design
From your centre point start to build up your mandala in circular layers from the middle. Mandala designs often use radial symmetry (if you cut it anywhere in the middle it will always be the same on both sides, like a cake).
Think about this when you are creating your design. Can you find leaves, twigs, flowers and feathers that are the same?
5. Redesign and remake
Mandalas by nature are temporary so make sure you take lots of photos of your creations before they’re gone. The good thing is you can redesign and remake your mandalas over and over but don’t forget to share you pictures with us.