Mandala project – Buddhism in medieval China

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Painted symmetrical abstract image

Mandala from Dunhuang Caves, 900s AD

The Indian word “mandala” means a circle. Buddhists all over East Asia made mandalas as a kind of meditation, to give themselves time to think about creating order and harmony in the world. A mandala is about symmetry, balance, and calm. In Tibet, people often make mandalas out of colored sand. These designs are beautiful, but they only last one day and then people sweep them up.

A mandala drawn on a paper plate

An Earth Day mandala that kids made in Australia

You can make a mandala out of colored sand, or by drawing in the sand at the beach, or with a pencil or colored markers on a piece of paper. You can make your mandala alone, or as part of a group, each making their own piece of the mandala and learning to work cooperatively.

What will be at the center of your mandala? What kinds of things will go around the outside? How many rings will your mandala have?

Buddhism in China
Buddhism in India
Also check out this project to make a gold Buddha statue.

Bibliography and further reading about Buddhism:

More about Chinese religion home

By |2017-06-07T09:32:24+00:00June 7th, 2017|China, Crafts, Religion|0 Comments
Cite this page: Carr, K.E. Mandala project – Buddhism in medieval China. Study Guides, June 7, 2017. Web. December 16, 2018.

About the Author:

Dr. Karen Carr is Associate Professor Emerita, Department of History, Portland State University. She holds a doctorate in Classical Art and Archaeology from the University of Michigan. Follow her on Instagram, Pinterest, or Facebook, or buy her book, Vandals to Visigoths.

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