Update: This post was republished in the Jan/Feb 2013 Edition of The Valley Reporter! 🙂
The word Mandala is from the ancient indian sanskrit meaning circle and has a strong ritual significance in Hinduism and Buddihism. It has been used to help keep focus, for creating a sacred space and for aiding meditation.
In Tibet, mandalas are often made with brightly coloured sand, an ancient technique that Tibetans use to bring their mandala to life. When a sand mandala is created, a team of monks will usually engage in ceremony, chanting and meditation before and after each creation. This helps transmit peace, love and positive energy into the mandala. A sand mandala can take up to many weeks to complete and when done so, it is then blown or swept out into the universe. It is thought to radiate healing powers to anyone who looks at it and when swept out and dispersed into flowing water, these healing energies are spread to the world.
Creating a mandala is a wonderful way for children to visually engage in a meditation. The entire act of making a mandala can bring peace and calmness to any little yogi.
A great way to do this is either with coloured sand or, when your out and about on a walking meditation, using what nature can provide.
Flowers, leaves, branches, seeds, seaweed, shells and rocks.
Find a quiet place where you can breath and take a moment, thinking positive thoughts or maybe chant “OM” three times and begin your nature mandala.
As you sweep your creation out into the universe say a prayer or spare a thought for people all over the world and share the love with the universe.