Somewhere I read that drawing mandalas is particularly meditative and centering, calming and even spiritual. I don't know about you, but I could use a little more of those things in my life. All doodling, of course, can be meditative because your attention is focused but not entirely spent. When I am doodling, my focus is on the process itself, but because I have no investment in the outcome--I doodle for the pure joy of it--my mind is free to wander or not. I am alert and alive in the moment. The outcome of such a state of mind is a natural explosion of creative thought.
I love the repetitive nature of drawing mandalas. And I love that I'm being creative without working too hard, which makes them perfect for taking advantage of down time, especially when you find yourself stressed or anxious. One design element naturally suggests the next, and you'll find the most difficult decision you'll have to make will be whether to color your mandala or keep it black and white. (I admit, this can be a little difficult for me--to color or not. I used to agonize about it until I realized I can scan my black and white drawings into the computer to use again later. Now I can have black & white and color!) Simply start with a center circle and work your design around the circle. Keep drawing around in gradually larger concentric circles; think of the growth rings of a tree trunk. Keep your designs simple: leaf, flower, triangle, square and circle shapes are perfect. Remember that it is the process of drawing that is important, not whether your mandala is perfectly symmetrical or Pinterest-worthy. If you look closely, you can see lots of imperfections in my drawings, and I'm totally cool with that.
Will you give drawing mandalas a try? What are your favorite doodling elements? I'd love to see what you come up with so come back and share!