All posts filed under: Practice

Mandala Meditation: Ganesh Yantra

“Where do you get all of your ideas?” I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard this question. I’ve been known to say, “Inspiration is everywhere.” I think I’ll add to that statement, “Inspiration is everywhere. Look around you.” Thinking more about this, it’s more than looking around you. It’s about getting curious. It’s one thing to see something, it’s another to ask, “Why?” or “What if?” I have a long list of topics that I’m currently exploring. I can never study just one thing. My mind loves devouring several topics at once and making connections between them. One of my long time interests has been in exploring the meaning of our mandalas. The colors, shapes, symbols, and how they are arranged can tell us a lot about where we are in the moment. There are long standing traditions where mandalas are created with specific symbols and colors. One such tradition that I’ve been curious to learn more about is the Hindu yantras. The earliest yantras date back 1,000 BCE in northern India. Throughout the ages, sacred …

Do you have a muse?

All my life, friends, family and acquaintances have said, “You are so creative!” I feel like I can’t take credit for my creativity. The creative process may look like a solitary act on the outside, but it isn’t. I often feel like a creative conduit where the ideas flow through me. The best way to explain it is to share a story. Each month, I host an interactive online journal class. Participants get an envelope in the mail with a few items tucked inside to use during our time together. A new theme is explored where I work in one of the four elements, air, water, fire, or earth and I invite an animal ally to join us. The design of the envelope picks up on elements from the theme. Invariably these envelopes design themselves. Sounds a bit crazy, right? Read on as the story behind the latest workshop envelope may be evidence that the creative process is a co-creative act between the artist and something divine. For my next journal workshop, it was time …

Product Review: Arteza Watercolor Brush Pens

Arteza reached out to me asking if I would give an honest review of three of their products: 48 Water-Based Ink Real Brush Pens, Water Brush Pens, and Premium Watercolor Paper. Run Time: 14:27 Related Links Color I Course – For more product demos and lessons on creating color harmony.  Mandala Drawing I Course – Learn how to draw mandalas. Ten video lessons, each one under ten minutes to get you started creating mandalas quickly and successfully.  Sharing Circle – I’d love to see you in our online community for mandala enthusiasts. It’s FREE! Arteza Affiliate Links Arteza provide the products for this review. I was not paid for this review. I’m now participating in the Arteza Affiliate Program, which means if you click on the product links in this post and make a purchase, I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. I use these commissions to purchase products to giveaway in my monthly mandala challenges or to use in my workshops and courses. Arteza Watercolor Real Brush Pens (Set of 48) Arteza Water Brush …

May Mandala Challenge

I’m often asked where I get all of my ideas. For this month’s challenge, I thought I would show you how I take inspiration and turn it into my own unique mandala art. The theme this month is Mexican Inspired Mandalas. Here is a look at my design notes inspired by pieces of Mexican folk art. Here you can see how I applied the design elements to a final mandala design. Watch the quick 4 minute video to get the contest details and to see the fabulous prizes donated by our mandala sister, Mary-Anne Betrand Schoenike. I can’t wait to see the colors, shapes, and patterns that will show up in your Mexican inspired mandala art this month! ~ Kathryn Costa Challenge Details Create a mandala inspired by Mexican folk art. For inspiration check out my Mexican Art board on Pinterest. Post a photo or scan of your mandala in the Sharing Circle. Not a member? Join the Sharing Circle. It’s Free! Deadline to enter is May 28, 2018 at midnight, EST. One winner will be randomly …

March Mandala Challenge: Scavenger Hunt Mandalas

The topic for the March Mandala Challenge is Scavenger Hunt Mandala. I’m all about using what you already have to create mandalas. In this challenge, you’ll collect round shaped household items in various sizes to use as circle templates to create a mandala. It’s fun to look at every day familiar objects with a new lens. This challenge is to encourage you to play like you did when you were a kid. Have fun! Challenge Details Collect four or more objects that have a circle shape in various sizes. Do NOT use stencils for this challenge. It’s okay to use objects of other shapes for your mandala but you need at least four circles. Trace the circles starting with the largest circle to the smallest to create a progression of concentric circles. Use a straight edge to draw some guidelines and to break up the circle into four or more sections. Fill the circle with shapes, patterns, and colors. Use any medium. For more design ideas, download the first chapter of my book, “The Mandala Guidebook” at www.100mandalas.com/book …

February Mandala Challenge

The topic for the February Mandala Challenge is sacred geometry. In this video, I interview Susanne Fincher author of Creating Mandalas with Sacred Geometry. Susanne gives us a step-by-step demonstration of how to construct the triangle and circle progression. Our conversation covers: When and how Susanne got started creating mandalas. Susanne has been creating mandalas since 1976. I asked her why she thinks the mandala has held her attention for so many years. The difference between geometry and sacred geometry. Who has had the most influence in creating sacred geometry? What is the Tetrachtys? What is Metatron’s Cube? How can one use sacred geometry for personal mandalas? Challenge Details Create a mandala based on Susanne Fincher’s demonstration of the triangle, circle progression. Watch the video for step-by-step instructions. Have fun adding your favorite colors and patterns to the mandala. Use any medium. Post a photo or scan of your mandala in the 100 Mandalas Sharing Circle. Not a member? It’s free to join! SIGN UP HERE. Members Log-in HERE. Deadline to enter is February 24, …

Gallery: Creating Mandalas for an Inspired Year at Kripalu

To inspire your mandala practice, I collected a selection of mandala art that was created during the “Creating Mandalas for an Inspired Year” program held on New Years Eve weekend at Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health in Stockbridge, MA. I asked participants, “What would you tell someone about this program who is unfamiliar with creating mandalas?” The comments are found throughout this post in blue. Honoring 2017 Our weekend started with a meditation to help us make the transition from our busy lives to being fully present to this gift that we gave ourselves – a weekend of nourishing our body, mind, and soul. After a couple warm up exercises, students created a Seed of Life mandala and incorporated journal writing, symbols, and colors to represent the year that was coming to a close. Under the mandalas are words to name their year. “Kathryn Costa’s mandala program introduces you to a grounding practice that helps you tap into your creativity, inner wisdom, and spirit.” “If you enjoy the meditation and joy of coloring, this …

January Mandala Challenge: Mandala Inspiration Wheel

I’m delighted to announce a new series to inspire your muse called the Monthly Mandala Challenge. Look for a video each month that introduces the theme, contest details, and the prizes. Project Theme for January: Mandala Inspiration Wheel One day while looking at my wall on Facebook, I noticed a really cool video clip of a fidget spinner whirring above a hand-painted mandala with the question, “What gift can you give yourself more of today?” The possible answers delighted my heart – ease, novelty, play, stillness, rest, adventure… I clicked through to my friend Tonia Jenny’s Facebook wall and saw that she had created some other Fidget Spinner Fortunes that posed more heart expanding questions and answers. What can you give yourself more of this week? What will support your dreams today? What is your soul asking for? I’m a DIY kinda gal and thought, I want to make one! But wait, I’d love to see what my mandala family would create. I reached out to Tonia and she generously offered to be the first …

Opening My Heart in Hawaii

If you asked me seven weeks ago that I would be traveling to Hawaii, I would’ve scoffed in disbelief.  I had been working really hard these last three years juggling a day job and building my dream job. My vacations were dedicated to writing and promoting my book, trainings on mandalas and marketing, and connecting with my online mandala family. I can’t even remember the last time I even took a “real vacation.” Seven weeks ago I dumped the day job of 13 years. The following week, my sister-in-law and I were talking on the phone and she said, “You should come with me to Hawaii for a retreat.” In less than 24 hours the arrangements were made and I was heading to the “Open Your Heart in Paradise with Ram Dass Retreat.” What makes this story even more incredible was how the retreat sold out within hours of opening. Since June there had been a very long wait list and here I was going. It was a miracle. My Hawaii Wound When I told …

Gratitude Mandalas

One of my favorite practices is to combine my love for words and journal writing with mandalas. Each year during the holidays, I pull out a Flower of Life mandala and fill the shapes with words of appreciation. This year I designed a new mandala that starts with the Flower of Life in the center and surrounded it with border of interlocking semi-circles. In the center petals, I wrote down the names of the many people who I’m connected to including family, friends, colleagues, and members of my mandala community. You may include names of your mentors, teachers, authors, and artists who inspire you. Along the outer edge, record words to describe the qualities that you admire and appreciate. As you fill in the mandala, consider the many ways that you are connected. Fill some of the shapes with doodles and little drawings. Here I tucked in hearts under each virtue. A leaf-like pattern was repeated throughout to add detail. Pull out your favorite coloring supplies and think about each person as you fill in the …