For me, a mandala is a meditation. It is a state of mind where I can connect with myself, where I can tap into my own creativity, where I am repeatedly surprised by aesthetic results. It is a place of empowerment which enables me to take time for myself, relax, and be fully immersed in what I am doing. It is a gift to myself with results I can share.
The first time I took an interest in mandalas was about a three years ago. An artist friend of mine showed me a mandala she had drawn. I thought it was one of the most beautiful things I had ever seen. Wide-eyed and awed, I praised my friend for her work, all the while doubting whether I would ever be able to create something so beautiful.
Several months later, with an urge to connect to my own inner creativity and give visual expression to the beauty I was discovering within myself, I was inspired to draw my very first mandala. I had so much fun creating it and enjoyed the results so much that I immediately started drawing another one. These days I draw mandalas whenever I can. It is both a pleasure and a discipline. The act of drawing puts me in a self-nurturing state of being.
Over time I was asked to share my discovery, to show others how to draw mandalas and how to tap into their own creative selves. This has been yet another joy for me, seeing people open up, gain confidence, and surprise themselves by attaining delightful results. All the mandalas I have seen are special, unique and diverse – exactly like the people who draw them.
Almost everyone knows something about mandalas. It’s a meditation, it’s round, and has to do with Buddhism and spirituality. I once read that “a mandala is a meditation that you build up in layers” and so it is. Revolving around or secured within a circular, they take their own shape.
The Tibetan Monks create sand mandalas that evolve incredibly slowly, grain by grain. The practice quiets the mind, cultivates focus and concentration. I see it as being committed to something so intently, completely owning what you are doing, opening the treasure of the mind. Giving so much care to the activity at hand, until it becomes a prayer.
Mandala is a Sanskrit word which loosely translates as “circle”, a shape found in abundance all around us: the moon and the sun, our own planet Earth; the flowers. Even our own existence begins with a mandala – a fertilized egg in its initial stages of division looks like a mandala. In short, mandalas are all around and within us; there is inspiration wherever we look.
Contact Information and Resources
Ayala is always seeking ways to share this powerful practice with a greater audience and is working on producing video tutorials, coloring pages and more. If you are interested in taking a workshop, go to our workshop pages. If you are interested in learning more about Ayala, The Mandala Workshop or supporting local artists in the community, join our mailing list to keep in touch.