As stone mandala workshops are intended for those who want to clear their minds and enter a state of calm, it’s fitting that the workshop began with a meditation and breathing exercise.
A stone mandala is believed by some to be an unconscious reflection of your life. As we got comfortable in our seats, the instructor’s calm voice guided our awareness to the often neglected parts of our bodies.
By entering a meditative state, we were able to relax our conscious selves – and were thus prepared to take on the careful task of creating our own stone mandalas.
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Before painting our mandalas, we had to select our stone. It was a bit like when Harry Potter went to buy a wand. We were told to listen to the stone’s “calling” and choose the one we felt most drawn to. This process is supposed to be instant and automatic, and we were told to trust our intuition when picking our stone.
Although I worried at first that no ideas would spring to mind, I was suddenly overcome with a wealth of ideas and patterns once my paint brush met my stone.
After we finished painting, we were able to fit in a few minutes of reflection. The instructor handed us a sheet of paper with questions that we were asked to answer. The questions made us think about the meaning behind the symbols we had drawn on our stones, which interestingly revealed our subconscious desires.
Eugenia Chow, 17, Chinese International School
A mandala is a symbol in Hinduism and Buddhism that represents the universe. It usually takes the shape of a circle, with the design of the mandala starting with a dot in the centre, then intricate patterns are made around that point.
We were excited to have Alex as our instructor for the workshop. Being a professional psychologist he was able to teach us how to achieve consciousness and mindfulness as we created our mandalas.
The stones that we could pick from each had an adventurous origin story behind it, as we learned from our instructor.
“Different stones will connect with different people, choose the stone to draw on, to express on, [one] that you love at first sight,” said Alex.
The materials we used were: acrylic paints, thin texture brushes, plastic cups for holding water, plastic plates for mixing paint, water, and of course, a stone! As you can see, making your own stone mandala only requires a few kinds of materials.
Alex explained that there are three main steps to designing your mandala. First, choose a point that will be the centre of your pattern. Then begin creating patterns around that point, keeping the shape of the stone in mind. Lastly, think of what you want to express through your mandala and show this by using different colours and shapes in your design.
We found that stone mandalas are not just a piece of art, but also something that reflects our inner self.
Sofie Chu, 13, St. Paul's Convent School