Mandala is a Sanskrit word meaning “sacred circle,” and they represent the universe, unity, harmony and wholeness.
They symbolize infinity and the never-ending quality of life and have been widely used for centuries by Buddhists, Hindus, American Indians and others who find significant meaning in them.
Mandalas were re-introduced to the Western world largely thanks to Carl Jung. Jung considered mandalas as universal expressions of human psyche. He believed that when we reflect on them we are able to tap into our intuitive nature and bring to light buried emotional wounds from our pasts.
Mandalas are often used during meditation; because they are visually stimulating, they help us to quiet our minds and stop repetitive thoughts so that we can achieve a higher state of awareness. When we do this, we allow our innate knowledge and wisdom to surface. Mandalas can offer us a clearer vision and profound understanding of ourselves at an inner soul level.
Mandalas can enhance our awareness of our identity, our relationships, our personal goals, emotions, sensitivities, character, intuition, values, tendencies, and motivations. They can also help us to reflect on the past, understand the present and give us a glimpse into what our future may hold.
To use a mandala while meditating, it is beneficial if an intention is set beforehand. We may have many aspects of our life that we would like to understand more, although, there is usually one specific part that stands out more than the rest. If we keep our minds still for a few moments, we may notice our mind returning to the same situation—usually the one most seeking emotional or mental resolve.
While we are thinking through what we would like to focus our awareness on, we can gaze at the group of mandalas and eventually we will find our eyes drawn towards a particular one. It may be due to the colors, shape or pattern.
The superficial reason doesn’t really matter—the point is that our eyes intuitively rest on the one that resonates the most in that moment.
The purpose of focusing on a mandala is so that we may gain clarity about hidden parts of ourselves and ultimately receive guidance about a particular area of our lives that we may have been struggling with. We also gain insight into what exists at the center of our hearts as well as gently unveiling any unhealed, unresolved emotional wounds.
The mandalas below can all be used for further awakening during meditation. Gaze at the image with all nine mandalas on for one to two minutes, regularly blinking for five seconds. Then use whichever one you feel magnetized to as the focus for a deep, insightful meditation.
When we have chosen a mandala, we can meditate for as little as five minutes, or for much longer, depending on how much time we have and on our attention span. As we become more familiar with meditating on them, we will find that it is effortless to tap into the energy of each mandala. We will naturally feel compelled to meditate for longer and the guidance we receive will be far more vivid. We will receive a constant download of highly beneficial and inspiring information relating to spiritual growth and self-realization.
The meditation is simple to practice. While inhaling and exhaling deeply, just focus on the mandala, softening the gaze and allow the mind to calm so that the colors and shapes become more vivid and enhanced.
Below each mandala there is an outline description that offers an insight into the meaning of each one. This can be used as a basic guide and the explanation relates to the colour and shape of each mandala. As you become more accustomed to using mandalas, you can override the information I have provided and channel your own unique message.
Black/White: Pure, awareness, healing, spirituality, light, consciousness, change, clarity, intuitive, illumination, mysterious, perfection, serious, peaceful power, authority, elegance, style, formal, rebirth, transformation, conservative, conventional, higher understanding, orderly, straight forward, structured, yin yang, harmony, balance
Yellow/Black/White: Analytical, awakened, content, easy-going, free, friendly, platonic love, good intentions, good communicator, happiness, delight, intelligence, leader, no attachments, optimistic, hopeful, positive, spiritual, creativity, ambitious, cheerful, opinionated, fulfilled, perceptive, change, strength.
Red/Turquoise/Aqua/Pink: Affection, love, passionate, romance, balanced, calm, caring, free-thinker, generous, good communication, helper, integrity, intelligent, kind, loving, patient, peaceful, sensitive, sympathetic, genuine, considerate, thoughtful, truthful, intuitive, peaceful, movement, change, vibrant, pleasure, radiance, stability.
Red/Brown/White: Determined, energetic, enthusiastic, impatient, impulsive, bold, anger, aggressive, anxiety, charismatic, materialistic, nervous, passionate, powerful, unforgiving, inner strength, powerful, high energy, fiery, sexual, strong-willed, grounded, new beginnings.
Red/Lilac/Pink/Blue/Yellow: Sensual, feminine, beauty, love, light, emotional, healthy, refreshing, energizing, tender, sensitive, creativity, affectionate, artistic, intuitive, strong spiritual energy, mystical, ethereal, awakening, aware, wisdom, compassionate, organized, laughter, joy, happiness, togetherness, soul connections, positive, blossoming.
Orange/Yellow/White/Black: Advanced spiritually, adventurous, free spirit, creative, analytical, healthy, honest, kind, leader, outgoing, powerful, stamina, strength, teacher, vitality, creative, content, intelligent, adaptable, etheric, gifted, intuitive, nurturing, psychic, sensitive, spiritual, satisfaction, successful,talented, anxiety, protective, guarded, dignity, pride, courageous.
Lilac/Blue/Black/White: Clairvoyant, depth, intuitive, inspired, artistic, awareness, communicator, empathetic, inspirers, intuitive, leader, performer, philosophical, psychic power, philosophical, spiritual growth, visionary, dreamer, imaginative, vitality, stability, idealistic, musical, magical, harmony, devotion, tranquility, limitless, expressive.
Green/White/Black: Animal lover, enjoys the outdoors, balance, healer, healthy, in tune with nature, peace, passionate, renewal, rebirth, need for security, connection, nurture, health, good communicator, caring, considerate, compassionate, emotional, empathetic, other-worldly, dreamer, adventurous, explorer, growth, heart-centered.
Pink/White/Blue: Affectionate, disciplined, loving, natural, romantic, self-love, sensitive, sensual, soft, tenderness, sweetness, feminine, delight, innocence, genuine, calm, cautious, careful, vulnerable, playful, pure, unconditional love, open, gentle, emotional, subtle, graceful, considerate, sentimental, grateful.
When reading mandalas, our intuition will guide us toward anything we need to devote more attention to. It will also help us to interpret what is happening within our energy field. If we tap into our inner knowing while reading mandalas, we will automatically, instinctively receive the answers to any questions we may want answered.
Every time we meditate, we can focus on the same mandala over and again and each time we will receive new information and a fresh perspective on an original situation or it can open our mind to something entirely new that we hadn’t yet considered. We will likely choose different mandalas that relate to whatever mood and mindset we are in and with each meditation we will find new answers and meaning.
Which one are you? The Five Buddha Families help us use our enlightened and neurotic energy to wake up and be of benefit: For more depth:
Bonus: “The Simple Buddhist Trick to being Happy.”
Author: Alex Myles
Image: Krutika Joglekar
Editors: Travis May / Renée Picard