I don’t exactly remember how I came to love mandalas so much, or when I first started my love affair with mandalas. What I do know with great certainty is that they help to heal great pain, bring peace to life, and impress the power of their beauty in our hearts.
Once upon a time, around 2004, I was in the last stages of a love relationship that was devastatingly painful, as most endings are. When going through hardship, we resort to doing things that make us feel good; activities that nurture our heart. For me that could be going for a walk in nature, looking through my favourite books, talking to a friend, immersing myself in an art store or visiting a bookstore, which is where I ended up finding myself one gray afternoon.
I especially love bookstores that carry esoteric books and gifts, like the Singing Pebble. Once there, drawn to my usual shelves, the ones where I find the most inspiration, I leafed through various appealing books. To my surprise, I found a colouring book. But not just any colouring book: a colouring books for grown-ups!! It was filled with simple geometric shapes, hearts, flowers, swirls and twirls enclosed in circles. There were dozens, all as beautiful, clean and simple as the other. Not knowing what road trip I was just about to start, I picked one out for myself. The joyfulness was that of a child having found an Easter egg, hidden by the Easter Bunny, of course.
I just started colouring in the shapes; sometimes starting at the middle, sometimes starting at the edge. Every time I finished colouring a page, I would tear it out and post it on the fridge. It wasn’t long before I started noticing how much pleasure and relief looking at these beautiful colours brought me. I noticed that softly gazing at my drawings would sometimes bring on immense sighs, the same kind of feeling that a good long yawn has. You know the kind I’m talking about.
And so I found myself, during this time of hardship, drawing a mandala almost daily; Sometimes in silence, sometimes with soft music in the background. I found such contentment, peace and delight in colouring that it lifted my heart; a welcome contrast to the heaviness and pain that overshadowed the rest of my day. So you see, it was really easy to fall in love with colouring mandalas.
After drawing a few dozen, I started doodling and sketching my own and sometime after that I sought software that would allow me to create them from scratch. I still find a great deal of pleasure each time I make one to this day.
Surely mandalas will have their own unique effect and magic for you. Teaching courses that include Mandala drawing, common remarks are “I just love doing that, it brought me back to my childhood” or “that was so peaceful” or “my mind was so quiet” or “I just enjoy drawing in the lines and seeing different shapes emerge.” It seems an inevitable peace of mind settles in.
The most important thing to remember is that there is no right way to colour a mandala.
What I like to do before I start drawing is to think of an intent. It could be to resolve a situation, to reflect on an issue or conversation, or simply to find quietness. Whatever it is, I affirm it and let it go. By that I mean that I don’t think about it over and over and over again while colouring. I take a deep breath, relax and simply choose the colours my heart desires, the ones that I’m drawn to without a need for reason. Part of the beauty of mandala making is that it’s as easy as floating about on an air mattress on the lake. It is one of those things that brings us back to our true nature of simply being.