Mandala Monday – Finding Mandalas in Nature By Chris Lindsay

The next time you’re wandering around your garden, checking out your window boxes or taking your dog for a walk in the park, look around you – mandalas are everywhere. You just have to look around you to see the basic shape of a central point surrounded by an organized pattern radiating outwards. Sometimes just turning a flower or a pinecone around will reveal its mandala nature. You can draw inspiration from these natural designs, their shapes and their colours, in creating your own mandalas.

flower mandala

Mandala designs are easy to see in flowers. Petals surrounding a central core form the most natural designs. Imagine a sunflower, with its face full of sunflower seeds, surrounded by large, bright yellow petals. It’s a mandala guaranteed to make you smile. And something equally as cheerful – a daisy. Or perhaps a rose or a begonia for a mandala with overlapping petals.

How about vegetables as geometric designs? Cut a tomato in half crosswise, and you’ll find a centre piece of the stem, with segments around it, each containing the seeds and juice. A cross-section of a bell pepper shows the veins and seeds, and the underside of a mushroom reveals the stem and the many lines of gills. Artichokes form one of my favorite designs. All of these are mandalas in nature.

tomato slices

And don’t forget about fruit as creative inspiration. You can see obvious mandalas when you cut citrus fruit in half. The segments of fruit surround a central stem and the seeds form additional decoration. Looking at a strawberry from the top down reveals a radiating pattern of seeds on a luscious bright red background.

Trees also contribute to the vast array of mandalas in nature. A cross-section of the trunk reveals the tree rings. But pinecones also have a beautiful symmetry when held upright.

tree rings

It’s not difficult to find mandalas in the flora world, but what about animals? Are some constructed in a mandala structure?

starfish

Starfish spring to mind. The 5 pointed arms around the body of the starfish form a simple pattern. And octopi and jellyfish can also seem to form similar patterns when viewed from above as they swim along. And sea anemones, and so on.

Mandalas are everywhere in nature, which may explain why they have been used as powerful and spiritual designs by humankind throughout thousands of years.

Searching for, and studying, mandalas in nature in your everyday life will have several amazing benefits:

* you’ll come to recognise the universality of the mandala
* you may be influenced in your colour choices in colouring mandalas by the ones you find in nature
* you may be inspired to create mandalas of your own based on those you see around you
* it’s exciting to find a new way to connect with nature
* you’ll appreciate even the smallest piece of the natural world when you’re looking for mandalas there.

By recognising and connecting to the mandalas in the natural world around you, you may begin to understand how many cultures consider the designs to represent universal truths.

Chris Lindsay is giving free rein to her creativity by designing mandalas for herself and others to color in. She uses geometric patterns from temari, yantra and kaleidoscope designs as the starting points for her creations. Whether you want to reduce stress, to quieten your mind, meditate or just to have fun, coloring is a great activity for all ages and all abilities.

Visit http://www.mandalas-to-color.com and set your artistic creativity free.

Upload your photos of the mandalas you have found in nature at http://www.mandalas-to-color.com/your-nature-mandalas.html

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Chris_Lindsay

Mandala Monday – Mandalas in Nature – Guest Post by Epouna

Used in many cultures throughout history, mandalas represent one’s personal life journey. Sanskrit for circle, these pieces offer a center for cultural gods, to help guide the user on a path to reach total enlightenment. However, contrary to what many people believe, mandalas are not only used in religion, they are appreciated in nearly every aspect of nature as well.

One can actually view mandalas pretty much everywhere in nature. In trees, plants, vegetables, fruits and animals, any circumstance that allows you to enjoy circles that encompass other patterns provide a mandala to enjoy.

A prime example is the beautiful symmetry offered by a flower. Sunflowers have seedy centers with vibrant petals that radiate outward while the petals of an elegant rose gently fold over one another. This brings new meaning to the taking time to smell the flowers! There are many things in nature to enjoy when one pauses long enough to explore it.

Vegetables are another great example! Sure, you may not relish the thought of slicing an onion but if you take a moment to enjoy the endless supply of circles it offers, you may find yourself cooking with them more often. Other natural mandalas can be observed in brussel sprouts, lettuce and tomatoes. Have you ever taken the time to examine an orange as you peel it? What about a kiwi or a grapefruit? They all offer mandalas.

Want to observe some truly remarkable natural mandalas? Take a stroll through a forest! Tree trunks of any size and every age radiate outward from the center to symbolize the tree’s life cycle. Observe a few pine cones that have fallen on the forest’s floor, notice how the layers flow perfectly from one to another? Turn over a simple wild mushroom and enjoy the mandala that is created around the stem.

Pratheep P S, www.pratheep.com

A large variety of wildlife and sea life offer exceptional examples of mandalas in nature too. The intoxicating design of zebras and tigers are easy examples that most people would recognize but jellyfish, starfish and octopus are great ones as well. A fantastic example of sacred geometry can be seen looking at a killdeer’s eggs as they are often arranged in the nest with the smaller end positioned toward the center.

Nearly everywhere you look around the planet, you are presented with endless possibilities of natural mandalas. There are a never-ending supply of landscapes that capture mandalic geometry, offering energy and spirit. Grand Prismatic Spring boasts eye-catching colors, the Olympic Peninsula houses gorgeous rock formations and a three-dimensional mandala is granted when you explore the Tufa Towers found in the Mono Lake of California.

Grand Prismatic Spring

If you take the time to enjoy every part of nature, you will realize that mandalas are offered as gifts literally all around you. Each one provides its own journey that can help provide a quite meditative moment, allowing you to become one with the planet that offers you such captivating pieces of art. When you do recognize a mandala, you can then use it on your journey to find your center.

Article by Epouna
www.meaningofmandalas.com

Images from Wikimedia Commons

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