Topic 1 What is a Mandala?

The word mandala comes from Sanskrit and it means “Circle”. Mandalas come in many forms – it is a geometric configuration of symbols. A mandala generally represents the spiritual journey, starting from outside to the inner core, through layers. In the Eastern religions of Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Shintoism it is used as a map representing deities, or actual shrines. Mandalas are Buddhist devotional images often deemed a diagram or symbol of an ideal universe.

It appears in the art and architecture – in one form or another – of various cultures around the world. Mandalas are great tools for meditation and increasing self-awareness. The best thing about designing your own mandals is that you have the freedom to choose whatever shapes and colors that you feel express your sense of self and your view of reality.