The first time you see a mandala, you might be forgiven for thinking that it is just a whoo whoo hippy art form, but it is a whole lot more that! The act of creating an intuitive piece of art brings you into a place of calmness, where decisions can be made in a much more focused manner.
The act of merely sitting down at the table to create a piece immediately gives you time to yourself. Time without distraction. Time just for you. You have immediately opened yourself to a calmer place, where the noise of your incessant thoughts can begin to settle into a more productive mode. In creating the mandala, you trust your intuition. You become aware of your breath, breathing deeply and immediately you begin to relax. You find as you go through the process, that thoughts become clearer. By balancing the mind in this creative way, often the solution to a problem you may have becomes clear.
There’s a science to this. Psychologists and neurologists have found that by stimulating both sides of the brain (which mandala art is doing) our thought process becomes clearer, stress reduces, blood pressure lowers and the list goes on. Normally when we make decisions we use the left hemisphere of the brain, considered as rational. By bringing in the right hemisphere of the brain and drawing intuitively in the wholeness of the circle, we get a much fuller picture of what is going on in our lives, our minds. The word ‘Mandala’ is an ancient Sanskrit word meaning ‘Circle’ or ‘Container of Spirit’. It is a technique that has been used across the world for hundreds of years. Indeed the Dali Lama and the Tibetan Monks create the most beautiful mandalas…and they are just about the calmest people on the planet!
You do not need to be artistic to create a mandala, they lie within each and every one of us.
Patricia has an exhibition running until tomorrow, May 12th in Smock Alley in Dublin. She will also host a Mandala retreat this September in Morocco and is also available to give Mandala & Mindfulness workshops to businesses or groups who wish to explore the benefits of this fascinating artform.