To provide participants with an initial opportunity to experience communication and promote relationships among participants. This activity focuses on the each participant’s uniqueness.
Copy of the Mandala template for each participant, large sheets of paper (tape if not using self-adhesive paper), variety of colored markers/crayons.
What to Expect:
This activity uses a means of expression that taps into a deeper level of understanding. The responses to a request for drawing the elements of the Mandala are often moans or expressions of concern about lack of artistic ability. Don’t attempt to appease the participants by making it okay for them; merely acknowledge their concerns and create momentum to continue the activity, encouraging participants to choose visual images and commit them to paper.
This is a powerful activity that allows the participants to learn a great deal about each other in a brief period of time. The sharing of sources of pride and gifts fosters new awareness among participants about their uniqueness. Sharing frustrations allows participants to express their concerns about their life. Sharing their personal spirit permits members to identify the things that motivate them and allows participants the opportunity to declare their hopes for their future.
Open this activity by explaining that a Mandala is a visual representation of the values and viewpoints held by an individual that captures their essence or spirit. Mandala is the Sanskrit (an ancient language) word for “circle.”
Distribute the Mandala handout and review each of the four quadrants with participants:
Source of Pride: something the participant is especially proud of – either in their personal lives or their work life
Gift I Bring to the World: most important strength you exhibit regularly in
Source of Frustration: what causes you upset/frustration in your life?
Personal Spirit: what are your hopes for the future? What motivates you?
The ribbon at the bottom of the Mandala provides space for a personal credo – an essential, guiding principle or perspective that the individual relies on as a guide for their life. This may be an inspired thought, the title of a book/song/piece of poetry, or any belief the individual is called to – expressed in a word, phrase, or short sentence.
To fill in the four quadrants, the participants may only use images, icons, or pictures. The credo, however, is to be completed in written form. Ask the participants to place their first name at the top of their Mandala.
Provide the participants with a large sheet of paper and a variety of colored markers and allow 10 to 15 minutes for the participants to complete their Mandalas.
After the Mandalas are completed, have the participants hang them on the wall anywhere in the room.
Allow each participant to present their Mandala to the large group. They may present their Mandala using any format they choose. The order of presentation is not important.
After all the participants have presented their Mandalas, discuss the similarities and differences between their Mandalas.