As we rest our gaze upon a mandala, the mind becomes as still as the surface of a pool of water…
Here’s a brief guide from mandala illustrator Lisa Tenzin-Dolma on how mandalas, stunning and complex images, can help focus the mind in meditation.
The power of mandalas has been known in Eastern cultures for many centuries. Considered to be highly complex maps of the cosmos, mandalas are symbolic spiritual images which, when meditated on, can bring about profound inner transformation.
‘When selecting a mandala to use in meditation, just opt for one that appeals really strongly to you.
Meditation relies heavily on concentration, so before using a mandala that you have selected, find a quiet place to sit, far from distractions or noise. Try to absorb the peaceful atmosphere around you and focus initially on stilling your mind, breathing slowly and deeply. Use the following step-by-step guide as a prompt to good practice.
How to Meditate on Mandalas
1. With the chosen mandala placed on a table or on the floor at arm’s length in front of you, perhaps on an improvised easel, level with your eye-line, sit comfortably – either on a chair with your feet flat on the floor, or on a cushion with your legs crossed.
2. Breathe slowly and deeply, from the diaphragm, while emptying and stilling your mind.
3. Gently gaze at the mandala and relax your eyes so that, initially, the image goes slowly out of focus.
4. Sitting quietly, concentrate on the image fully and allow its shapes, patterns and colours to work on your unconscious mind. If distracting thoughts arise, let them drift away and gently bring your focus back to the mandala.
5. Do this for at least 5 minutes initially. In later sessions, gradually try to build up your meditation period to 15 minutes.
6. When you are ready, slowly bring your attention back to the world around you.’
More information on mandalas…