Earth Mandalas: Practicing Mindfulness in Nature

Mandala is the Sanskrit word for CIRCLE. Mandalas are used in many of the world’s cultures and religions as devotional images that symbolize the universe in its ideal form. The creation of a mandala signifies the transformation of a universe of suffering into one of joy.

Photo by Alesia Kozik on

There are examples of mandalas in nature as well, including flowers, eyeballs, tree rings, snowflakes, spiderwebs, shells, fruits, and more.

Photo by Luku00e1u0161 Dlutko on
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Creating nature mandalas helps me to:

  • Remember and honor my connection to the earth
  • Express gratitude
  • Meditate
  • Slow down and cultivate mindfulness
  • Acknowledge the cyclical and continuous nature of the earth
  • Observe and enjoy patterns found in nature
  • Appreciate the little things and the often-overlooked
  • Express my creativity
  • Practice non-attachment and impermanence
  • Have fun!

How to make an Earth Mandala:

  1. Choose a peaceful place in nature. Prepare the surface by clearing debris, sprinkling water to symbolically purify the spot, or simply reflecting on your intention to create.
  2. Gather organic materials (twigs, leaves, grasses, flowers, berries, pinecones, acorns, etc.) Of course, be aware of your surroundings- watch out for poison ivy and try not to disturb critters. Take only the materials you need.
  3. Place a single meaningful item in the center and assemble the other materials in a symmetrical pattern around the center.
  4. Appreciate your mandala. (Take a picture if you want!)
  5. Destroy and/or abandon your mandala. They are meant to be temporary. Let go and let nature take over your art.

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