I pierce a little hole into the perceived middle of the piece of paper.
Draw a circle, pierce another hole onto the circle’s outline and proceed with the same radius, punching a hole through the paper on each occurring intersection.
From there, it only gets easier.
With my pencil I start in the middle. One tiny element. Six in a row to complete the circle.
And a little more outward. Another tiny element. Easy. Nothing breathtaking. Just whatever random form comes to my mind. As I proceed, circle by circle, row by row, element by element, I get more and more oblivious of all around me.
An hour later, I blink. I completed the last element.
The outcome astonishes me – how can something as amazing come of repeatedly drawing slight variations of two to three basic forms, layered onto one another?
The principle of the mandala is utterly simple. It is repetition, basic geometry.
But who would argue the staggering beauty that lies in it?
Some things tend to stun us when we look at them in their entirety. We see them from the outside, completed, and they intimidate us.
We think: “I could never do this,”.
They seem so overwhelming to get done.
The mandala teaches me that, to every amazing outcome, there are countless tiny, unremarkable steps. And you do not focus on the outcome. On the completion. You are not focusing on the step you are about to take. You are focusing solely on the tiny step you are taking right now.
We’ve heard it all before. And once you’ve made a great number of tiny, simple steps, you can look back and see the bigger picture, to realize that you have in fact accomplished something quite impressive you never would have imagined.
Focusing on the outcome rather than the process instead might keep you from accomplishing things. Don’t expect anything. Go step by step and be present.
You might be surprised what evolves from it.