Mandala Drawings

Mandala is a Sanskrit word meaning circle. The Psychiatrist Carl Gustav Jung called mandalas a “safe refuge of inner reconciliation and Wholeness”, and noticed that creating mandalas had a calming, focusing effect on his patients. We suggest using Mandalas with students or by yourself as a mindfulness exercise and a non-verbal, self-reflection tool.

MATERIALS: Any paper and drawing tools you have!

OPTIONAL: Markers, paints, crayons, colored pencils, glitter, construction paper, magazines (to collage).  There is no right or wrong way!


The therapeutic activities detailed on this page are adapted from a Mandala Workbook created by CIS Counselor Elizabeth Rose, LCAT.  For more information on her work and art therapy tools, check out her website,

1. Have your materials (paper, coloring or drawing utensils of your choice) already in front of you. Trace a circle using a cup or plate, or you can freehand draw a circle on the paper.

2. Start drawing! Color it in (or fill the space with doodles) until you feel you are done/satisfied. You may give yourself at least 15-30 minutes. It's okay if you don't "complete" or fill your mandala in. If you're done drawing, let it be. If you want to take a break or add to your creation at another time, you may do that!

3. Take a moment to observe and appreciate your mandala and yourself. You may give your mandala a title and document the date on or on the back of your page (if on paper).

Creating Symbols

Take a moment to think about anything and anyone that plays a major role in your life. Write down their names, and create a symbol (ex: shapes, emojis, colors, letters, numbers, etc.) next to as many of them as you can, including yourself. After you're done, reflect on why you created the symbols for yourself and other things.  You might want to include these symbols in your mandala(s).

Using Color

Colors have different meanings for people based on their environment, culture and emotional state. Colors may effect you consciously (within your awareness) or unconsciously (out of your awareness).

While reflecting on your mandala, think about how you can use color to express emotions.  Below is a suggestion for how to start.  NOTE: A color may mean something different each time you use it!

Think about the following range of emotions: Joy, Sadness, Anger, Fear, Disgust, Surprise, Excitement, Hope. Next to each word written in the the sections below, write/ draw the color that you associate with it at the moment.









“Color in mandalas expresses your innermost thoughts, feelings, intuitions… even your physical sensations. Analyzing the meaning of colors in your mandalas helps you understand the messages being sent by your unconscious.” –Susanne F. Fincher