Similar to a mandala symbol, a nature mandala is also an “integrated structure organised around a unifying centre” It is a circular and non-permanent symbol using patterns to represent the circle of life. They are made with organic materials found in nature.
You can see mandala patterns in natural objects from the radiating petals of a flower to tree rings, spiderwebs, seashells, crystals and more.
And while they are beautiful, there is a deeper meaning in the mandala. The mandala’s pattern can be interpreted as a model for the organisational structure of life, a type of cosmic diagram. It is both the microcosm and the macrocosm, and we are all part of its intricate design.
The mandala pattern is used in many religious traditions. In the Indian religions of Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism or the Japanese lifestyle of Shintoism, the mandala is a spiritual and/or ritual geometric configuration of symbols that can be used to represent deities, paradises or shrines. In ancient Tibet, as part of spiritual practice, monks created intricate mandalas with coloured sand made of crushed semiprecious stones. Tibetan mandalas are often highly intricate illustrations of religious significance that are used for meditation. Swiss analytical psychologist Carl Jung used the mandala for his own personal growth and wrote about his experiences. Jung recognised that the urge to make mandalas emerges during moments of intense personal growth in which a profound re-balancing process is underway in the psyche. Carl Jung said that a mandala symbolises “a safe refuge of inner reconciliation and wholeness.”
Nature is the store cupboard for this beautiful artwork, but it can be useful to have some flat baskets or baskets with handles to gather materials with.
- Gather materials to make the mandala. Try to collect lots of the same sized, shaped objects.
- Return to the group
- Choose something for the centrepiece and then build the pattern around it (You might want to buy something for the centre such as a large crystal or natural heart-shaped object so that there is always a focus. I have a large rose quartz)
These are some of the most beautiful but rely on flowers being in season. I am also wary of picking flowers for this activity. Making mandalas from what you can see on the woodland flow makes that nature is undisturbed.
“Look deep into nature and then you will understand everything better”-Albert Einstein
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