You've probably seen mandala designs showing up more frequently in pop culture: artworks, tattoos, clothing - there are even coloring books dedicated to the symbols.
These incredible, often intricate circular designs are not only stunning to see, but they also hold a lot of history and spiritual significance.
Originating with ancient Buddhism, the mandala is an important part of the religious practice. The word "mandala" comes from the Sanskrit word for "circle," and, to many people, the circular pattern of the mandala represents the universe, life, the cosmos, and a personal journey towards wisdom and awakening.
Each mandala design is unique. Most are circular. Many are very intricate, colorful, or elaborate, but they can also be simple and subdued. They might contain symbolism like figures, bells, or lotus flowers.
Mandala-like designs also appear in many cultures, including Persian, Mayan, and Native American cultures.
Curious to learn a bit more about these incredible creations? Keep reading for a quick list of three interesting facts you may not have known about mandalas!
Using dyed sand, highly trained Tibetan monks create large and intricate mandalas. These mandalas are first sketched out on a table top or other large, flat surface.
Then, using small, thin funnels and other tools, the monks slowly and painstakingly create the design. Some are so large that they take several weeks to complete.
Once the monks finish the mandala, they sweep the sand in one motion. The painstaking creation and swift demolition of the mandala represent the human journey and impermanence of all things.
Swiss psychologist Carl Jung is credited with bringing the Eastern concept of mandalas to the West.
Jung himself created mandala art, which to him represented the concept of "self." He eventually brought the practice of drawing mandalas to his psychiatry practice, as he felt that the creation of the art represented, as Psychology Today puts it, "an indication of movement toward a new self-knowledge."
Much like the quiet patience of the Tibetan monks creating sand mandalas, the act of drawing a mandala can be soothing and meditative.
Many people choose to draw them for pleasure, finding that creating organic shapes, repetitive designs, and intricate details of each mandala is a meditative practice - much like a yoga practice.
To try it yourself, start with clean paper and either colored pencils, fine-tipped markers, or watercolors. Begin your mandala design by placing a dot in the center of the paper and work outwards from there. Repeat patterns, colors, and designs until you feel your art is complete.
You don't need to draw mandala designs to feel peace and comfort from them. You can also add them to your home in the form of wall hangings or tapestries, or wear clothes that feature the striking motif.
The visually appealing designs can be a great addition to yoga apparel or yoga spaces - you might find you can get deeper into the practice by focusing your eyes on a mandala.
We carry items that feature these incredible designs, including tapestries, yoga gear, and hooded blankets. Take a look!
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