Mandala Inspirations From Nature

We go for a hike in the mountains, and everything
as far as we can see is our mandala:
the clouds, the trees, the snow on the peaks,
even the rattlesnake coiled in the corner ~ Pema Chodron ~

When we hear the term ‘mandala’ we often think of complex works of art radiating from a circular centre in perfect symmetrical geometry, representing a sense of ‘whole-ness’, unity and harmony. In recent times there has been a resurgence in the ancient artform, in particular through the rise in popularity of art therapy resources such as Mandala Coloring Books for Grown Ups.

Originating from the Sanskrit word for ‘circle’ or ‘discoid object’ , mandalas are believed to capture the vastness of the universe in a symbolic or metaphysical sense, often presented as a nest of squares and circles that represents the cosmos. Considered objects of devotion in Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism, mandalas have been used throughout history for meditation, prayer, healing and art therapy.

Defined both externally (in our understanding of the world) and internally (as a meditation guide, for example), clinical studies have supported the use of mandalas to promote health and wellbeing, with such benefits as boosting the immune system, reducing stress and pain, lowering blood pressure, promoting sleep and easing depression.

It may come as a surprise to some, however, that the most exquisite and intricate of mandalas are not the man-made variety at all.

They can be discovered and accessed quite readily – perhaps even on your daily walk to work or stroll to the park. They are all around us and existing perfectly in nature each and every day. Indeed it was nature that inspired the creation of mandala in the first place.

From spiderwebs to flowers, snowflakes to shells, mandalas exist within the realms of our natural environment and they are just waiting for you to notice them! Here are 5 beautiful examples to inspire your next design:

Spiderwebs – as a spider carefully weaves its delicate web it is creating any number of intricate arching designs in the process. Spiderwebs are natural mandalas spiraling out from a centre circle.

Flowers – most flowers contain an inner circular centre filled with tiny little blooms.

Snowflakes – when the 6 points of a snowflake conjoin in your imagination or otherwise, the creation of a perfect mandala of ice crystals is the result.



Peacocks – look towards the feathers of these beautiful creatures and you will find a perfectly symmetrical design within.

“Each person’s life is like a mandala – a vast, limitless circle. We stand in the centre of our own circle, and everything we see, hear and think forms the mandala of our life.” ~ Pema Chodron ~

Photo by Aziz Acharki on Unsplash (flower mandala)

Photo by Robert Lukeman on Unsplash (circle rock formation)

Photo by Sam Valdez on Unsplash (spider web)

Photo by Melanie Hughes on Unsplash (peacock)

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash (snowflake)

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Tehla Jane

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Tehla Bower is a yoga teacher, writer and mother of two from the East Coast of Australia. She offers yoga…

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