These loving-kindness mandalas combine creativity with meditation. Each ring in the mandala represents each step of a loving-kindness meditation.
Making this meditation into an art project helps kids actualize the more abstract concept of loving-kindness. When I did this with my girls’ class, the kids drew rainbows, infinity loops, leaves, hands for hugs and, of course, hearts at the center.
- Starting with yourself, represented by the center of the mandala, send yourself a loving wish
- Next, radiate out kind wishes to people you love, like your family and friends
- Now send wishes to your community
- Next, send loving-kindness to difficult people in your life
- Finally, send kindness out to the entire world and even the universe
- Think about what best represents your kind wishes to each group of people you meditated on. For example, a loving-kindness wish to a friend might be hug; for the world, it might be peace
- Within each concentric circle, draw and/or color what best represents each loving-kindness wish for each group
The Science Behind the Smiles
Practicing a loving-kindness meditation helps us feel more connected to ourselves and others. According to one study, this can translate into a growth in personal resources, such as positive mindset, social support and decreased illness symptoms and stress.