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How to Make a Mandala

The mandala is an ancient and holy art form passed down for generations. Through the use of sacred geometry the creator of the mandala can bring forth a feeling of contentment, happiness, a certain wholeness and a closeness to God or their gods. This is something to keep in mind as you learn how to make a mandala. This is the first step to an accurate rendition of what you have in mind for the mandala.

screen shot image from Susan Fincher's video

Creating a mandala, like creating any form of art or craft, is very therapeutic. This is an image from Susan Fincher‘s video on her mandala making workshops.

The center of the mandala is the home for your deity. It represents the center of the universe, the creation point of our world, the essence of life and the heart of Buddha. For a Buddhist monk to be able to create a mandala he partakes upon a learning journey in which he can learn about the symbolisms, colors and types of mandalas before he creates his first one.

A mandala has four quadrants that you should be aware of. You should have a vertical and horizontal (imaginary) line that represents north, south, east and west and they should intersect at the center of the inner circle. Four concentric (imaginary) circles will intersect with each other, while touching upon each other in the center of the inner circle. Within each of these sections there will be developed symbolic colors and imagery that will dictate the type of mandala you wish to create and the deity on which it is found.

The guidelines will show you where to draw the square wall and the doors in which to enter the mandala. The doors bring together the limitless thoughts of loving kindness, compassion, sympathy and calmness. Your square will be your temple. The circles that surround the palace or temple each contain certain symbolisms. One will demonstrate the transformation of the human from secular to Divine worlds. Another will show how the scared kingdoms cannot be destroyed. Next will be a circle to represent the grounds of cremation and finally a circle to show us man’s place in the cycle of birth and rebirth.

The mandala should be based on the Sacred Script of your culture so as to channel the Divine. In this manner you are imparting the Sacred teachings upon your creation. The journey and importance is not in the finished product but rather the path on which you are lead as you create your mandala. Your deity that is housed within your mandala will dictate the feel of the piece.

Each color has its own meaning as well. White shows us ignorance becoming reality. Yellow gives us sameness from pride. Red takes away the delusion of attachment as we become wise in discernment. Green takes away jealousy to give us accomplishment. Blue takes the delusion of anger so that it becomes a mirror like wisdom.

Other types of options are available when making a mandala. “Mandala” in essence is an ancient Sanskrit word for “circle.” You can choose to create your circular piece in any form you wish. A medicine wheel, dream catcher, naturally grown trees and the such are other forms of mandalas. You can create one in this manner as well.

Whichever direction you take – secular or divine, make sure that the mandala created reflects the inner you. Meditate, reflect, learn and experience on your journey what your place in the universe should be. Be mindful of what was, what is and of what is yet to come.

Resources

Making Mandalas, by Ceci Huster in Sweden.

Make Your Own Mandala, by Ray Whiting.

Create Your Own Mandala, by Cheryl A. Finley.

Creating Mandalas, by Susan Fincher.