The eye is the first circle; the horizon which it forms is the second; and throughout nature this primary figure is repeated without end. It is the highest emblem in the cipher of the world.
A Mandala (Sanskrit: मण्डल Maṇḍala, ‘circle’) is a spiritual and ritual symbol in Hinduism and Buddhism, representing the Universe.* When we make a personal mandala, it reveals who we are at that moment.
There are a number of different ways to create a Mandala and we have two to show you here: How to create a Wild Mandala
These can be as simple or as elaborate as you like. Go with how you feel. There is no right or wrong mandala.
Before you begin, you may want to spend time doing some mindful, peripheral vision or barefoot practice. Allow any intentions or questions around an area of your life you’d like to clarity or change come up and hold one in your mind as you begin.
Creating a Wild Mandala
Creating a mandala in the wild is a beautifully sensory and spontaneous creative experience. A process of creating a ‘circular/symmetrical symbol from a variety of natural materials found in your surrounding landscape, such as leaves, twigs, grasses, stones etc. A celebration of the essence of a particular natural place and your personal expression.
Watch the short film HERE on how to create one
Choose a space where you will create your mandala. This might be a large open space, or it may be somewhere private and ‘secret’. The middle if the woodland, the side of the path or the middle of a field or park. You might even purposefully choose a spot where others will encounter your creation- during the process or after you have left.
Create a space ready for your mandala. The more even your surface the easier it will be to create you mandala. You may need to gently clear an area of vegetation or debris. Create your canvas for your wild materials to shine out, or subtly show themselves. You’ll notice in the ‘creating wild mandalas’ video that the background and natural materials blend, making for a very understated mandala which hides it’s details until you get up close.
Collect a variety of wild materials to use as your form- connecting with the space, use your intuition, choose your materials based on the contrast, shapes and forms you think you might create. But leave plenty of room for surprises too. The more time you have to collect your materials the better. But it is also possible to create something small and simple with limited time. Only take from the land what it feels right to take, especially if you are picking living things. Try instead to choose already loose parts.
Begin creating your mandala from the centre outwards, in a clockwise direction. Using one material type for each round. Working within this rhythm can be soothing and meditative. You may wish to begin with an intention or question. Allow yourself to play with the possibilities of each material you have chosen, splitting, bunching, cutting, joining and layering as you go.
When the mandala is complete you will know. Remember it need not be big or complex. Begin and end wherever you feel comfortable. Does your mandala speak to you? Does it give you any answers to your question you had at the beginning?
If you would like to, take a photograph of your mandala so you will be able to use it for inspiration and mindful meditation in the future.