The power of Mandalas have been known in Eastern cultures for many centuries and they’re considered to be highly complex maps of the cosmos. They’re highly symbolic and can be meditated on to bring you profound inner transformations.
Today I want to share with you the magic of mandala and specifically how do do a mandala meditation to supercharge your meditation practice.
Now mandalas are probably as old as humankind itself. They raise from deep levels of consciousness and help you to grow in self awareness and enter into a state of peace of mind. It’s a wonderful way to bring the beauty of nature into your life as a path to stillness and fulfillment.
A mandala is an awesome way to experiment with deepening your meditation practice.
When it comes to the use of colour, geometry and symbolism in mandalas, there’s much more than what meets the eye. It transports you into deeper level of consciousness and can help you during meditation to experience a sense of oneness with a unity of the universe.
Let's start with the basics of old mandalas which is a circle.
A circle is an important universal symbol which humans respond to at the very deepest level. It’s the still centre of the turning world or the symbol of secret space within where you find tranquillity and peace. It’s the wheel of life.It has no beginning and no end.
It’s a symbol of completeness and ultimate perfection. Once the circle is drawn, other shapes and symbols can be added to it. These complex mandalas are major features of the secret art of many spiritual traditions. For example, Botulism and Hinduism. Although mandalas are particularly associated with the East, they’ve played an important role in Western traditions too.
So how do you choose a mandala on which to meditate?
Well you can make your choice on a purely visual basis. You just choose one that you're drawn to. Perhaps it’s the vibrancy of the colour or the integrity of the symbols.
You can create your own which I really recommend you do. Find anything with a mandala like shape in nature but in the end, choosing a mandala to meditate on really needs to be an intuitive process.
Once you begin meditation on mandalas, you’ll find yourself relaxing deeply. It will also increase your ability to concentrate and improve your memory making you more alert to the world around you.
There’s even evidence that meditation may help lower your blood pressure, assist with pain management and helping you achieve a restful night's sleep. Now before I give you a step by step overview on how to do a mandala meditation, I want to make you’re aware that it’s both really simple and really challenging. The reason it’s challenging is that the mind is stubborn and tends to latch on to the ‘monkey chatter’.
The secret is patience with yourself, practise and perseverance. Meditation isn’t learned in a couple of days. But if you persist, you’ll get better and better at it.
The 4 Steps to Mandala Meditation
Find a quiet room where you won’t be disturbed. place the mandala you chose at eye level about arms length in front of you. Remember to choose colours that really speak to you at that point in time. Set a time on your smartphone (between 5-20 minutes). I suggest starting with 5 minutes to begin with.
Sit crossed leg on a firm cushion that raises your bottom just a little off the floor. You could also sit in an upright chair with your feet flat on the floor. You want your spine to be straight. Make sure not to lie down - you don’t want to fall asleep during the meditation.
Straighten your back and rest your hands on your lap. Rest your eyes and gaze into the mandala. You want your eye to go into soft focus. So you can blink as often as necessary. Keep your attention on the edge of the mandala. Don’t be distracted by any thoughts that arise in your mind. If your attention wanders, simply bring it back each time to the mandala. Try not to think about it. Simply look at it. Steadily and evenly.
The final step is bringing your meditation to a close. If feel a little disturbed by your experience, remember you’re always in control - you decide when to start and when to finish your meditation practice. I recommend you stay within the time limits you feel most comfortable. Then gradually increase the time limit until you can sit for a full 20-30 minutes in a mindful and relaxed state.
The essence of meditation is always stillness but you might find that early in your meditation a number of symbolic meaning to arise in your mind. If it does, allow this to happen. Just notice the meanings without any judgement and note how they seem to emerge from a deeper level of consciousness and then let them go and bring your attention back to the mandala itself.
You can reflect once your meditation is over. You might also find during your meditation your mind becomes bored with the mandala in front of you. That’s because we live in a world of frenetic change and our attention span has become so short.
Meditating on a mandala slows everything down.
It’s the exact opposite of the flickering, ever changing television screen or what’s happening on your Facebook feed. Don’t allow your mind to distract you. It may want to go to thoughts of your early life or problems with work or challenges in your relationship or memories of last weekend’s activities.
You can’t stop these thought from arising but just return to the mandala over and over until your time is up. The whole purpose of meditation is to free yourself from the restlessness of modern life and to experience the stillness which is your true nature.
I hope this has been helpful to you. Let me know about your mandala meditation practise in the self care for the soul group on Facebook. Here is the link to join Self-Care for the Soul
Bye for now,