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How to draw a mandala

A mandala is a circular design, usually with a series of symbols, drawings or patterns emanating from the centre. In Buddhism, mandalas are used in meditation to represent imaginary palaces, and every element in the mandala (every object in the palace) has significance. Drawing a mandala is a way to gently strengthen the connection between your inner world and outer reality.

Words and illustrations Naomi Bulger

To start

Draw a little circle, or circular symbol (like a flower) in the centre of a page. You are going to create patterns in circles around that centre circle, radiating out around it like concentric lines in the water around a dropped pebble.

Do what suits you

Some people use rulers or compasses to prepare the circles ahead of time, so everything is evenly spaced. Others skip that step and embrace a wonky mandala.

Repetition is key

Now surround your centre circle with a pattern. Do anything that takes your fancy, just make sure you repeat it all the way around. Repetition is key.

Let the mood take you

Now draw a different kind of pattern around the first, linking them up. Keep doing this, taking your mandala ever outwards in a bigger circle, adding as the mood takes you.

No need to rush

Take it slowly. Don’t pre-plan or judge, it’s okay if it’s wonky. Just have fun.

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