Why Monks Destroy Their Mandalas

What Is Mandala Art?

Birthed in Buddhist and Hindu traditions, and loosely translated from Sanskrit, mandala means circle. Mandala’s are repeating patterns of harmony, unity and wholeness from a central space, aligned with the neverending universe. There are many ways to create a mandala and in this Random blog I share a way we can create greater calm, clearer thinking, and present moment awareness through making a mandala in nature.

Why Make A Mandala?

Mandalas can teach us much about non-attachment, impermanence, the cycle of life, and being with things as they are. It isn’t about the time it takes to create one, nor the end results, more the process.

Enjoy the playfulness of gathering, paying attention, arranging and experimenting and then the act of letting go.

Leaves flutter,

Petals wilt,

Seasons change.

Life moves on.

Monks mess up their sand mandalas for this exact reason, life is always in flux, we are but grains of sand.

Pictured with #YesheTrinley (RIP) in 2017 at Random Dialogues

Mindfulness Does Not Suit Everyone

Sitting cross-legged, with closed eyes to practise meditation for a quieter life does not suit everyone. Most people like to move, they have butterfly minds, get bored easily and want to get jobs done. In my e-bookMagic In Mindfulness I list several key benefits of practising mindfulness including :

- To stay in touch more with the present moment and be less caught up in negative thoughts

​​- Deepen your awareness and respond more skillfully to events in your life​​

- Reduce and maintain at low levels anxiety, depression and stress

To gain from the benefits of the above without remaining still and quiet, you may prefer to try the practical, creative mindfulness exercise below by simply turning the handle of your door and stepping outside.

How To Make a Nature Mandala

Last of Autumn in my garden
  • First, head into the garden, if you have one, and gather what feels good, else go for a walk and pocket or bag the same.
  • Next, arrange your treasure into a circle of ideas. You could be indoors or out doing this.
  • Maybe branch out from the centre, or wherever feels like a good possibility.
  • There is no right or wrong way to arrange.
  • Step back and enjoy your creation, tweak it to suit. You may like to capture it on a camera, meditate, sketch, or simply just let it be or even go. Explore what feels right for you.

Below are a few mandala creations from my mates too.

This is a very large piece that I did. It took me over 3 years to do (on and off). It was my go to piece when things were getting on top of me. It helped me to get more into the moment. It was a true labour of love too Jason Arbiter
Nature creates its own mandalas
Our attempt at beach Mandalas before the sea washed it away. Had fun arranging though! Linda Hopkins

It’s good to have you here.

And Finally

Thort For The Day

Gone, and a million things leave no trace
Loosed, and it flows through the galaxies
A fountain of light, into the very mind
Not a thing, and yet it appears before me:
Now I know the pearl of the Buddha-nature
Know its use: a boundless perfect sphere

-Han-Shan, Translated by Gary Snyder

泯時萬象無痕跡, 舒處周流遍大千。 光影騰輝照心地, 無有一法當現前。 方知摩尼一顆珠, 解用無方處處圓。

Curated in Thortspace by Phil Shepherd

Jane Tyson




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