Mandalas are one of the artistic and cultural elements associated with meditation. They are used in some Buddhist rituals, but they are also often used as a form of therapy. This can be confusing at first glance, so let’s see how mandala is used and what it really is.
What Are Mandalas?
In short, mandalas are circular and concentric drawings related to symbolic elements of Hinduism or Buddhism.
Thus, all mandalas have a similar structure, which is usually a circle full of symmetrical and concentric figures. Beyond this, all mandalas can be created as the person who draws them wants, including specific details and not others, choosing the details, etc.
What Is The Meaning Of The Word “Mandala”?
The meaning of the term mandala has its origins in the Sanskrit language, and can be translated as “sacred wheel.” This simple fact already indicates the relationship between mandala and religion, and it is considered a symbol of healing and meditation, as well as representing a facet of the cosmos.
This symbolism is reflected in the forms presented in the mandala, and all of which are drawn inside a circle. Some forms, such as spirals or stars, are associated with specific meanings, and the same occurs with the tonalities used when painting mandalas.
In fact, the color palette used in the elaboration of a mandala symbolizes the nature of each of the chakras that according to the cultures related to Hinduism, occupying different parts of the body. Thus, the blue represents the fifth chakra and the feeling of calm, the red symbolizes the first chakra and relates to passion, etc.
Beyond the classical representation of mandalas, which is usually circular, there are also other types of mandalas with alternative forms, such as a square-shaped outline. However, in all of these drawings, the direction of the contour towards the center and vice versa is always emphasized.
Mandalas And Meditation
Knowing the symbolic nature of the elements that make up a mandala, one can come to think that these are simple pieces of folklore. However, it is not necessary to embrace mystical beliefs to use mandalas. Because these wheel-shaped drawings have a use beyond religion.
Like what happens with relaxation techniques, practically all meditation exercises focus on a primary task: managing attention and achieving an effect on bodily processes that are usually automatic, such as breathing.
The use of mandalas is no exception in this sense, and their use during meditation sessions implies that we focus entirely on them. In this way, drawing mandalas resembles some ways of entering into trance used in all kinds of religions.
Use Of Mandala
Thus, the use of mandalas is relatively simple, since it basically serves to be drawn and painted. That is, what is useful is not so much the mandala itself as the process of creating these figures and their coloring.
Of course, the way in which the act of drawing and painting mandalas is useful, however, is a personal and totally subjective issue, since its use can not be equated to the use of scientifically validated therapeutic proposals.