Nature mandalas include several types of mandalas. Natural items in nature, like flowers, shells and the center of fruits and vegetables often form a natural mandala. Mandalas made from natural elements such as flowers, stones, seeds and twigs are another type of nature mandala. Nature mandalas may also be found in books or coloring pages that are comprised of images of flowers, plants, animals or other natural elements. These mandalas combine the beauty of the natural world with man’s desire to create an artistic rendition of the vastness of the universe.
Many are surprised to learn that nature inspired the creation of mandala. This circular motifs with symmetrical geometry originated in the natural world. Some of the most commonly recognized natural mandalas include:
- Flowers – Nearly all flowers contain a circular center filled with tiny blooms. Some, like the purple coneflower, have multiple concentric circles of these tiny ‘flowers’. The outer rings of the natural flower mandala is typically made up of petals that may be solid colored or may have layers of variegated color.
- Ferns – Ferns unfold in early spring, revealing a spiral of delicate leaves that create a natural mandala. When covered with dew, this natural mandala is taken to new heights with the intricate interplay between miniature leaves and symmetrical dewdrops.
- Shells – Many seashells create a natural mandala with spirals of multi-colored shell that glistens in the sun and spray from the ocean.
- Fruits – Many fruits and vegetables, like citrus and apples, conceal a natural mandala in their center. While citrus creates an array of fruit segments, the apple holds a perfect mandala made from it’s brown or black seeds.
- Snowflakes – Nearly everyone knows that snowflakes have six points, but you may not realize that by imaging an outer circle to contain the snowflake you will see a perfect mandala made up of tiny ice crystals.
- Spiderwebs – Spiderwebs are natural mandalas spiraling out from a center circle. They may contain any number of intricate arching designs. Again, when covered with dew or raindrops the mandala comes alive with glistening light.
Mandalas from Natural Elements
In recent years, several artists have taken on the task of creating nature mandalas from flower parts, stones, twigs and other natural elements. Those made with live flowers and herbs are by necessity short lived and typically designed for demonstration purposes at special events.
- Flower Mandalas – Artist Kathy Klein creates brightly-colored mandalas from flower parts, seeds, pods, cones and other nature elements. Originally, Kathy created these awe-inspiring mandalas (she calls them danmalas) in public areas and left them for others to discover. She now sells prints and calendars of her work.
- Found Object Mandalas – Artist Matt W. Moore designs mandalas from found objects, which typically include seeds, sticks and stones. His Mosaic Mandala Series: Utah Natural Elements feature mandalas made entirely from bits of dried grass, dead branches, bark, river pebbles and other natural elements foraged from the land.
Nature Mandala Coloring Pages
Nature is a common theme in mandalas in coloring pages. While many are designed for children and may contain images of animals, birds, flowers and other natural elements, some are designed for adults as well. A flower mandala may feature the intricacies of one flower or may contain different flowers of varying size, shape or color. These mandalas may be used simply for the joy of coloring beautiful designs, used in meditation or framed and displayed as art.
How to Make a Nature Mandala
There are several ways to make your own nature mandalas, depending on your desires. Making nature mandalas in the sand is an excellent family activity and will keep children (and adults) entertained for hours are they search for the perfect elements in nature to complete the design. These temporary mandalas can be both relaxing and enlightening to make. Taking a picture of the finished product preserves the moment and keeps the memory alive. Frame the photos or create a mandala book with photos of nature mandalas to use as inspiration or to jog the memory of happy times.
Children also enjoy gathering natural elements and gluing them to paper or board to make a nature mandala. This makes a great way to display seashells, sea glass, pebbles and cones collected while on vacation. Other options include hand drawing flowers, seeds, animals or items from nature in a mandala pattern. For the photographer in the family, using computer software to transform a flower into a mandala can be a lot of fun. You can even create a garden mandala by planting flowers in concentric circles to create a symmetrical design.
Nature mandalas combine the beauty of nature with the reported spiritual growth associated with mandalas. They also promote relaxation, reduce anxiety and can be used as a focusing tool during meditation.