Mindful Mandala Art

Over the years, I have created more than 1000 mandalas. Each mandala is an exquisite sanctuary that holds the transformative power of creativity and soothing meditation. This mindful practice anchors me into the present moment where I find peace and balance.  

This sacred circle has aided my ability to focus and concentrate.  I feel balanced and at rest.  Mandalas are an exercise in connecting with my deeper self.  They have aided me in opening up to new ideas and explorations.  Allowing each mark to work its magic aids me in practicing self-tenderness and compassion.  Recognizing my unlimited soul as a perfect place for rest.  This place where I am always enough.

Carl Jung calls the circle the archetype of wholeness.  Wholeness means complete and lacking nothing.  Harmony and unity, infinite, and eternity are notions also connected to the circle.  It makes sense that so many wisdom traditions make use of a circle  The limitless possibilities are awe-inspiring. I find myself lost but not drowning.  I am unbounded and unstifled.  I am eager to continue making mandalas as they have taught me many things.

First and foremost mindful mandalas bring a sense of calm and peace while creating them.  My creative practice has seen me through tumultuous times.  Having a son with a brain tumor and needing three neurosurgeries was certainly challenging.  Spending time in my studio allows me to process my fears through my art.  It gets me out of my head where there can be an endless loop of what-ifs.  In difficult times I choose to support my well-being by creating art.

When I let my creativity loose I am pleasantly surprised by how quickly everything else falls away.  There is no time or hunger.  Issues fall into the background and my mind becomes a beautiful playground where anything is possible. Especially with a mandala where inside the confines of a circle a myriad of patterns converges.  A kaleidoscope of wonder.  I dream of a world where everyone connects with their true creativity and knows the healing power therein.

Mindful mandalas are a contemplative practice.  A contemplative practice can benefit you in many ways.

  • cultivation of self-awareness.

This art-making helps me to learn how to be with myself, and witness myself without mental clutter.  I recognize the critic when she starts to get loud.  I learn to accept myself as I am.  Accepting my art is a part of that process.

  • focused, non-evaluative attention.

Each mark is a wordless journey into the sacred.   I find refuge and solace in creating art, particularly when I create a mandala.  Self-expression is the goal and the outcome is not judged as good or bad. I feel no overbearing need to make my mandalas perfect.  After all, what is perfect?  Being lost in the freedom of self-expression is always good.

  • a holistic approach to well-being.

There is nothing better than letting your hands work to quiet your chattering mind.  This is the place to practice bravery.  A place for your wholeness to shine through.

  • development of mental and physical steadiness and balance.

I have learned that my superpower is resourcefulness. That I could make art anywhere at any time! This creates steadiness and balance in my life. I have learned through mindful mandalas that everything works out.  

  • fostering greater attunement, compassion, and creativity.

Let your creativity loose.  You will be surprised how quickly everything else falls away.  The more you use your creativity the more have.

A mandala can be expansive. unending and where ideas of healing and meditation can be explored.  I work on multiple mandalas at a time there is always an idea for one of them. Art practice can bring us back to ourselves. To our true nature.  To a sense of freedom and liberation.   It can be therapy or a self-soothing meditative process.  A time to play and be outrageous.   A time to heal.  It can help us express our voice as only we can.  Our creativity can be a container where we put our messy thoughts and emotions.  Allow creativity to transform you.

I have developed a simple daily practice of creating a mindful mandala. I use coffee filters as they are inexpensive, very durable, and easily available.  Using a product that is not precious brings a certain freedom. 

I sit quietly and wait for an intention for the day to come to me.  I then write or print that word on a folded coffee filter with a water-based marker.  I  make sure the ink goes through to both sides of the filter.  Then use watercolor paint with liberal amounts of water to fill in the spaces.  Sometimes the filter is folded or sometimes I open it up for the painting.

This is meant to be a contemplative practice where you focus on the word you have chosen.  A process where you let the ink and paint flow and observe what happens.  The outcome is not important.  It is all about slowing down, being in the moment and enjoying it.  It only takes a short time to honour the creativity in me.  I am so grateful for it!

"A creative life is an amplified life.  It’s a bigger life, a happier life, an expanded life."  -Elizabeth Gilbert

Written by Guest Blogger Angela Grasse

Angela Grasse is an artist driven by an openness to challenges and a willingness to take on new opportunities. She engages her creativity in as many endeavors as she is able. She is a multi-disciplinary artist and has created installations, film, photography, artist books, and textile art.

You can find Angela here:

Website      Instagram 


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