Healing and therapeutic mandalas are intuitive mandalas, created for the purpose of meditation. Mandalas originated to symbolize completeness, as well as to be present in the moment.
Built using circles which symbolize that life is never ending, mandalas are defined ‘externally’ as a visual universe and ‘internally’ as a guide for practices like mindfulness, which simply means, directing the mind on a specific thought, activity or object.
Sanskrit for ‘circle,’ mandalas date back to the first century B.C. A mandala usually has one focal point, the Centre. With intricate circular patterns, which are organized with precision around a single central point, mandalas evoke concentration. The symbolic images when meditated on, help reduce anxiety and stress.
Carl Jung, one of the pioneers of modern depth psychology and psychoanalysis, was greatly drawn to the idea of the mandala. Jung used mandalas for his personal growth, as well as for his patients. In his memoir, ‘Memories, Dreams and Reflections’, he wrote, ‘It became increasingly plain to me that the Mandala is the center. It is the exponent of all paths. It is the path to the center, to individuation.’ A self realization and discovery of life’s purpose, when aligned with the mandala principle.
Mumbai based Clinical Psychologist, Roshni Bhagnani, recently launched ‘Art Scenario’ to conduct online ‘Therapeutic Mandala’ sessions. She speaks on the creative as well as the meditative process behind drawing mandalas.
‘As a clinical psychologist, I have used art as a medium for therapy and after my personal journey with mandalas, I decided to launch ‘Art Scenario’ to teach therapeutic mandala. I believe meditating on mandalas are perfect for healing and for self therapy. The symbols in a mandala could mean different things to different people.’
‘To draw a mandala, one need not be a professional artist. All that is required, is paper, pencil, pen, eraser, ruler, color pencils and a compass. The individual selects a mandala they wish to draw, meditate and focus on. I encourage them to tap and address emotions, that they may have ignored in the humdrum of life. Drawing a mandala helps in processing what is going on in one’s inner self and thus being self aware.’
‘While conducting the therapy, I weave-in the individual’s present emotions and as we progress from one circle and shape to another, we move into a deep space, which is where the healing and personal discovery takes place.
‘Mandalas are therapeutic and the art though dynamic, is a soothing way of connecting us to our objectives, which in essence is to live our lives to our full potential. And during the time the individual draws the circles and shapes, I try and interpret what is going on in her/his mind, at that point.’
‘Post the session, which usually lasts an hour or so, we discuss the experiences and observations. Mandala therapy is not only about the outcome but the process as well.’
In the current crisis, when circumstances are beyond one’s control, meditating on a mandala, maybe an answer to achieve a calmer self, besides the fact that mandalas are an individual’s sacred circle, story and present state of mind~the here and now.