Mandalas and Their Evolution as Coloring Book Subjects

From "Sacred circles" to "Sacred Orbits"


Frank Walsh

4/19/20233 min read

Mandala of the sun and moonMandala of the sun and moon


The word "mandala" originates from the Sanskrit language, and it translates to "circle" or "center" in English. It can also be interpreted as meaning “essence.”

There are also considerations that the mandala represents the entire universe. With their history in Hindu and Buddhist religions, mandalas represent “sacred circles.” (See our coloring book, “Sacred Orbits: A Mandala Coloring Book for Mindful Meditation and Creative Exploration”. Click on the link to view it on Amazon).

Mandalas are geometric and symmetrical designs that are typically circular in shape, although they can also be found in other shapes such as squares or triangles, and may contain squares, triangles, and other geometric shapes within the mandala. They are often characterized by intricate patterns, repetitive shapes, and vibrant colors. (See our coloring book, “Symmetrical Splendor: A Geometric Coloring Book for Mindfulness and Creativity”. Click on the link to view it on Amazon.)

The use of mandalas dates back thousands of years, with origins in various cultures and religions around the world. Mandalas have been found in ancient Indian scriptures, Tibetan Buddhism, Hinduism, Native American traditions, and even in the art and architecture of ancient civilizations like Egypt and Greece. These diverse cultural influences have shaped the symbolism and meanings associated with mandalas, making them a truly universal art form.

Symbolism and Meaning of Mandalas

Throughout history, mandalas have been used for various purposes, ranging from religious and spiritual practices to artistic expression and meditation. They are often regarded as symbols of wholeness, balance, and harmony, representing the cosmic and metaphysical universe. Mandalas are often used as aids in meditation and are believed to have a calming and centering effect on the mind, helping individuals achieve a sense of focus, mindfulness, and inner peace.

In different cultural and religious contexts, mandalas are associated with different meanings. In Buddhism, for example, mandalas are used as a tool for meditation and as representations of the universe or deities. In Hinduism, mandalas are used in rituals and ceremonies to represent the universe and the circle of life. Native American tribes use mandalas as symbols of spiritual guidance and protection. Mandalas are also used in modern psychology as tools for self-reflection, therapy, and personal growth.

Mandalas as Coloring Book Subjects: A Modern Twist

In recent years, mandalas have gained immense popularity as coloring book subjects. Coloring mandalas has become a popular form of art therapy and relaxation, as it allows individuals to express their creativity, relieve stress, and achieve a sense of mindfulness and tranquility. The act of coloring within the intricate lines and patterns of a mandala can be meditative, helping individuals to focus their minds and enter a state of flow.

Coloring mandalas also offers a unique way to explore and personalize the symbolism and meaning associated with these ancient designs. As individuals choose their own colors and create their own unique interpretations of mandalas, they can infuse their personal emotions, thoughts, and energy into the artwork. This adds a contemporary and individualistic twist to the traditional practice of working with mandalas, making them a truly modern form of artistic expression.


From their ancient origins in diverse cultures to their modern-day usage as coloring book subjects, mandalas have captivated and inspired people for centuries. The intricate patterns, geometric designs, and symbolic meanings associated with mandalas make them a unique and powerful art form. Whether used for meditation, spiritual practice, or artistic expression, mandalas continue to be cherished for their beauty, complexity, and transformative effects on the mind and soul.

So, next time you pick up a coloring book with mandalas, take a moment to appreciate the rich history and symbolism behind these intricate designs. Let your creativity flow as you color within the lines, allowing yourself to experience the meditative and therapeutic benefits of working with mandalas. As you choose your colors and create your own interpretation of the mandala, remember that you are not just coloring a beautiful design, but also connecting with a centuries-old art form that has transcended time and culture.

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