History & Meaning of the Mandala
Mandala Art is a spiritual and ritual symbol in Hinduism and Buddhism. In common use, “mandala” has become a collective term for any diagram, chart or geometric pattern. It is a complex and complicated design which is usually circular in form. In Sanskrit, Mandala word means “circle”.
Mandalas can contain both geometric and organic forms. They can also contain appreciable images that carry meaning for the person who is creating it. Mandala shows the connection between our inner worlds and outer reality. Designing your own mandalas can be inspirational as well as therapeutic.
A yantra is same as a mandala, usually smaller and using less color. It may be a two or three dimensional geometric art used in sadhanas, puja or meditative rituals, and may contain a mantra into its design.
Mandalas are mainly used by tantric Buddhists as an aid to meditation. The mandala is considered as a support for the meditating person, something to repeatedly observe to the point of saturation, such that the image of the mandala becomes fully fed in even the minutest detail.
Utilizing the Concept of Mandalas in Art Therapy
The important use of creating a mandala is therapeutic and symbolic. The shapes and colors created in mandala art therapy will reflect inner self. The instinct and feeling should inspire and guide through the process of creation. Ultimately, a portrait of yourself will be created as you are when creating the mandala. So, whatever you are feeling at that moment, whatever emotions are coming through, will be represented in your Mandala Art Therapy.
In art therapy, it’s not about the final product…it’s about the journey. When you reach your destination, you will have a representation of something meaningful and personal…an art of you for a brief moment in time expressed through your mandala.
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