The Sanskrit word mandala means “whole circle” in the ordinary sense of the word. In the sphere of depth psychology, it refers to a sacred protective image, often a squared circle, or vice versa, enclosing many intricate, symmetrical forms.
Mandalas have been created by all peoples everywhere at all times. They are “cosmograms”—images of an individual’s psychic reality, a snapshot of where one is at that moment—how they relate to themselves and the world around them.
The eminent Swiss psychiatrist C. G. Jung, after extensive research, discerned that mandalas are a traditional antidote for chaotic states of mind. Thus he encouraged his patients to draw, paint or dance mandalas when they were depressed or beset with conflicting desires.
In short, mandalas are images that help to heal the split or distressed personality, in service of the self-regulation of the psyche.
There is no need to be a skilled artist. Whether it is approached as meditation, sensation, reflection, or just playful activity, the act of using color and image to amplify the connection with the unconscious is an invitation to enrich one’s personal life. You can incorporate it into a ritual; use your favorite music; dance it; frame it—or simply use it as an instant portable entry to a different mode of being.
This coloring book is an invitation to play and create. It is an extension of Inner City Books’ mandate to promote Jung’s ideas. We wish you the joy of disappearing into these pages. Who knows what you will find in here, and in yourself?
Have fun and tell your friends!