Nature mandala (art)

General Aim

To deepen the group’s connection, bring about the joy of common creation and notice the beauty of nature.

Learning goals

– building positive attitude towards plants and nature
– connecting with one’s innermost creative self
– aligning the intentions of the self with those of the group
– creating shared values

Short description/background/Introduction/Tips for the trainer

Together, the group creates a unified image in the form of a mandala from the individually collected plants.
If there is no outside space available, the facilitator can provide a variety of different coloured nuts, grains, leaves, dried flowers, spices, etc.

Target

8-80 years

Suggested group

Whole group (max. 20 people) activity

Materials

Access to natural resources/pre-prepared plant parts.

Duration

30 minutes

Procedure/steps

1. The facilitator asks all participants to go out into the available open-air space and collect plants and plant parts, fruits, nuts etc. The solo outing in nature should also be experienced as a moment of self-reflection on what was learnt during the course.
2. In the meantime, the facilitator prepares a large sheet of paper, or a dedicated area to create the Mandala.
3. As people come back inside with their objects, the trainer asks them to arrange them on the Mandala, which they create together in this way. The activity succeeds best when experienced as a silent process. Some relaxing music may help the creative process.
4. When the Mandala is completed, participants can be encouraged to place other items created during the week, all around it.
5. Later, the facilitator can invite people to have a look at all these creations in silence.
6. After the silence, the trainer asks participants to hold hands and make small simple sounds, thus creating a Sound Bubble.

Evaluation/Final debriefing

At the end of the exercise, the trainer asks participants to answer the following questions:
– how much of your vision was realized?
– how much could you appreciate the added value of others?
– what does the created image mean to you?
– what message does this mandala carry?