how-to, mandalas, offerings

How can a mandala practice help with healing and living a joyful life?


I’ve given myself a BIG gift in honor of my 50th birthday – the gift of health. I’ve set the intention that in this next year, I’ll explore various practices and modalities to help me to heal and balance my body, mind, and spirit. I want this next decade to be vibrant and joyful.

How can a mandala practice help with healing and living a joyful life?

On a simple level, we can create a healing and nurturing environment, by clearing a space in our homes, to listen to soothing music while we create, and to show up and make time for our mandala practice.

On a deeper level, we create with specific intentions, observe how the colors, shapes, and details reflect where we are at in the moment, and open up to our intuition and connection to Spirit.

The Seed of Life, pictured in the mandalas above, is one of my favorite “go to” patterns that I draw. It’s simple and quick to construct – we start by drawing a circle and then draw six more circle around it. That’s it! Seven circles come together to form this design.

As we step back and look at the Seed of Life, we can see how new shapes that look like flower petals are formed by the overlapping circles. When interpreting our mandalas, the center can been seen as the self and the objects around the center as the people, events, circumstances in our lives. We can also use this design as a “graphic organizer” to explore various facets of our lives. We can work with a specific intention like, “How can I balance my body, mind and spirit?” or we can work intuitively and follow our curiosity as we fill the design with color and form. Working intuitively, we can step back from the finished mandala and observe what shows up.

I have two opportunities coming up where we can explore the healing aspect of creating mandalas.


Opportunity #1: Yoga & Mandala Day Retreat

September 8, 2018
8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Inn at Greenwood Mountain in Hebron, Maine
Hosted by Maine Center for Vital Living

Give yourself the gift of a retreat day that will bring balance to your body, mind, and spirit. This day combines:

  • yoga and an Ayurvedically balanced lunch to nourish the body
  • meditation to ease the mind
  • creating mandalas to tap into your intuition and activate your creativity

The combination of yoga, meditation, healthy food, and creating mandalas will give you a day to nurture yourself and connect with where you are at and what’s next in your life. We’ll draw the Seed of Life pattern and use it as our guide to celebrate all that is currently blossoming in our lives and plant seeds (set intentions) for this next season.

No art experience needed. All tools and materials provided.

Registration closes on September 1st.

Participation is limited to 16.

Register Now


Opportunity #2: Creating Mandalas for Insight & Self Expression

There are many fun aspects of creating mandalas but my favorite is to create them for insight, meaning, and self expression. The Great Round course opens a door to understanding and connecting with the Self. As you learn about the twelve stages, you’ll recognize times when you’ve experienced them and some stages will offer new insights as to where you are in this moment of your life.

The stages of the Great Round honor our milestones and celebrations, reflect the highs and lows in our creativity cycles, support us when faced with life’s challenges, and guide us when embracing something new like a developing project, career, or relationship.

We’ll create a wide range of mandalas to explore the colors, symbols, and designs characteristic of these stages. No art experience needed.

Great Round Course Details:

Lessons run August 26, 2018 to December 9, 2018
Closing the Circle Celebration: January 2019
15 Video Lessons
100+ Mandala Projects
4 Show & Tell Webinars
Instructor Led Course

All of this for $75.

Starting Next Weekend!!!

Get the Details & Enroll

mandalas, offerings

Omega Family Week Mandala Program


My first experience at Omega Institute will stay with me always!

For starters I arrived on Sunday, July 29th on my 50th birthday! Each person who said yes to my program was the very best birthday present I could ask for. What a gift for me to do what I love, to create and connect and to share my passion for mandalas.


This week I opened a door for many who found themselves drawing for the first time in many years. What joy to see them light up as their first mandalas came together. I often feel like a head magician revealing the magic tricks.


One very special gift was the opportunity to spend the week with Anne, a member of my online mandala community. For a few years now, Anne has taken my online classes and we’ve connected through threaded discussions, e-mails, and an occasional Zoom chat.

Anne writes, “It was such a pleasure to be able to take your class with you in person.  You created a warm and accepting environment for all of us learners.  I love the way you helped us to be mindful always that we are doing more than drawing lines and coloring, that this is really soul work.”



This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I am so proud of each and every participant. They stretched out of their comfort zones. They experimented with color and form. They discovered how their mandalas were much more than pretty pictures, and opened up to listening to their mandala stories and the wisdom from their wise inner selves. In one week over 100 mandalas were created!

If you would like to work with me in person, subscribe to my e-mail newsletter to find out where I’ll be next!

Until then,

Kathryn Costa

Opportunities to connect with me online.

Great Round – Fascinating study of the meaning of our mandalas. Discover your mandala stories. Next course begins August 26th. Instructor led.

Soul Journey Mandalas – Each mandala lesson includes a recorded Soul Journey and an activity guide (pdf) with reflection questions to go with each mandala project. Sample the first lesson to connect with your Soul Tree. Self Paced.

Journal Workshops – These interactive online workshops offer a unique experience combining Soul Journeys, oracle cards, creative journal prompts, time to create, and time for connecting with other participants. The next workshop begins a series through the chakras starting with the root chakra. Limited spaces.

Mandala Drawing I – Ten video lessons focused on geometric style mandalas. Each video is under ten minutes to get you creating quickly and successfully. Self Paced.

Color I – Always reaching for the same colors? Do you want to boost your color confidence? Maybe you want to invest in some coloring supplies and lost by the many options. This course is in two parts where part one offers a range of product demos and part two covers an introduction to color theory for the mandala enthusiast. Self Paced.

Sharing Circle – Free membership website for mandala enthusiasts. Includes monthly mandala challenges.



how-to, mandalas, monthly mandala challenges

July Mandala Challenge – Pattern Play

Mandalas with all of their shapes and spaces lend themselves well for drawing repeating patterns. In this challenge, Kathryn Costa invites you to play with the design principle, repetition. Watch this quick video to see examples of how patterns can easily add detail and beauty to your mandalas.


How to Enter

  1. Draw a mandala.
    You may also use one of the many coloring pages found in the members library of the Sharing Circle. Be sure to select a mandala with lots of open spaces.
    Get your entry counted twice if you create a mandala from the Drawing I course.
  2. Fill the mandala with repeating patterns. Color is encouraged.
  3. Scan or photograph your art.
  4. Post your entry in the Sharing Circle. It’s a free membership website for mandala enthusiasts. Join Here.

    Deadline to enter is July 31, 2018.
    Winner will be announced August 8, 2018.

  5. No limit to the number of entries.See Contest Rules


One person will be randomly selected to win a copy of The Great Zentangle Book by Beate Winkler

Related Links

The Mandala Guidebook – Refer to chapter 4 for pattern ideas.

Mandala Drawing I – Learn how to draw the mandalas featured in this video. 10 video lessons under 10 minutes each. Perfect for those who are just beginning, experienced mandala makers looking for more mandala design options, and tangle enthusiasts in search of a drawing practice that compliments their love for pattern play.

Color I Course – If your color confidence is low, this color course gives you an introduction to creating color harmony. Includes product demos to learn how to use a variety of mediums popular among mandala enthusiasts.

The Zentangle® Method

My Favorite Supplies

Here is a short list of my favorite supplies and the one’s that I used to create the mandalas that you see in the video.

Note: These links will take you to Amazon where I’m an affiliate. I receive a small commission for each sale at no extra charge to you. Your purchases help support the work of this site and provides art supplies for demos and prizes.

Drawing Mandalas


Coloring Mandalas

Faber-Castell Pitt Pens – India Ink

TomBow – Water-based brush pens

Spectrum Noir – Alcohol markers

Micron Fineliners

Marvy LePen Fineliners

Uni-Ball Signo Gel Pen – My favorite white gel pen. The broad point works best.

Faber-Castell Polychromos Colored Pencils

Prismacolor Colored Pencils


Blending Stumps (aka Tortillons)


Mandala Meditation: Jupiter Yantra



Dr. Wayne Dyer was right. There is a power in our intentions.

For my yantra series, I decided to work next with the Jupiter Yantra. Sarah Tomlinson writes in her book, Coloring Yantras, “This yantra is associated with the planet Jupiter, which – as the largest planet in our solar system – imparts a sense of vastness and an openness to new possibilities. The name Jupiter in Sanskrit means “the one who removes the darkness and brings light.”

My intention in creating this yantra was to open up to new ways of expanding my business and using my skills and talents in service for the highest good of all. Even before I drew a single line, I found myself following a trail of thoughts that led to exciting new ideas.

Creating this yantra coincided with the full moon this week. I’ve been studying the astrological archetypes and following the lunar cycles. The full moon in Capricorn – ruled by the planet Saturn – is about making plans and being disciplined to see them through.

As I colored this yantra, I found myself writing down detailed lists to plan the next steps in my husband’s new venture as well as projects that I’m currently developing. In the spirit of Capricorn, the question is what do I need to do each day to see these ideas through?

I look at this predominantly yellow yantra and I’m reminded of the Manipura chakra. “I can,” a phrase associated with this chakra echoes in my head as I look at the yantra. I do believe that I can and I will.


Sitting on my work table is this beautiful shell. Its silver spiral reminds me of Stage Three Turning Towards the Journey in the Great Round Series. It’s the stage we experience when we are ready to start something new. That something new may be a project, career change, or even a move. It may be welcoming a new baby or grandchild, starting a new course of study, or picking up a new hobby. Here we can see the silver spiral in the shell as a path leading outward or inward depending on how you look at it. In my case as I’m looking to expand my business, it’s an outward journey.

I see another path in this photo in the trail of twinkle lights reflected in the glass in the framed yantra. In many ways, I feel as though I’m connecting many dots as I follow my curiosity about many subjects. Here the dotted path is illuminated and reassures me that I’m heading in the right direction.

Now it’s your turn.

Whether you draw this yantra or another mandala or even pull out a mandala from a coloring book, you can add light to any situation that you are encountering. It all comes down to your intention and being open to listening to the wisdom of your soul. Use golds, silver, yellows, and white to color the mandala of your choosing. Follow your thoughts as you color. You may want to have a notebook or piece of paper to record your experience.

Sharing Circle

Join me and other mandala enthusiasts in the Sharing Circle. It’s a free membership website for posting your mandala art and reflections. Each month I host a challenge that’s designed to inspire your creative practice.

Member Log-in

Join Today.

Related Links

Mandala Meditation: Ganesh Yantra

Coloring Yantras by Sarah Tomlinson

Power of Intention by Wayne Dyer

Great Round Course



how-to, mandalas

Learn How to Interpret Your Mandalas


Every time I sit before the circle, a new adventure awaits me.

I may start a mandala with a specific pattern or color palette in mind. Invariably as I’m drawing the mandala, a new idea pops into my head, “hmmm, what if I try this?” Then there are times when I goof in drawing a pattern. I roll with it and the design changes course.

I’ve been creating mandalas for over 18 years. You may be wondering, “Are you still getting joy from creating mandalas?

The short answer is yes.

The long answer lies in how each mandala that we create is a reflection of our Self. Within the patterns, colors and shapes that we use to create our mandalas, we can learn a lot about ourselves. The mandala is like a map of our unconscious, our internal landscape of thoughts, emotions, memories, and inner wisdom.

While I delight in learning new ways to construct and color mandalas (the art of mandala making), it’s the expressive and contemplative aspect of creating mandalas that I believe will hold my attention for a lifetime.


To illustrate how our mandalas can hold personal meaning for us, let’s compare these two mandalas. At first glance we can see some very big differences. The mandala on the left is very orderly with a symmetrical pattern. The colors are vibrant and strong. In contrast, the mandala on the right is organic, irregular, and has soft colors.

Each mandala was created in very different times in my life. The first mandala was created recently as part of a color study where the palette was inspired by a pot of beautiful spring flowers. The orderly pattern of the mandala reflects how I’m working on a project and towards a goal. The vibrant colors mirror my high energy and ability to focus.


This second mandala was created at a time in my life after a period of grieving. I hadn’t felt creative for ten months or more. My energy was low and I was considering quitting my blog and pulling the plug on social media. Buried deep within those feelings was a desire to rekindle my creativity.

When I created this mandala, it was the first mandala in several years and it was drawn spontaneously and intuitively. I started with the heart in the center using watercolor paints and a black felt tip pen. The drawing emerged with little thought or plan. In the process, I observed my thoughts and recorded my reflections in the area outside of the mandala.


After drawing this mandala, I spent some time looking at it and reflecting on what it meant to me. Here I saw my heart at the center, a place to focus on for guidance. The little dots around the heart look like seeds. I wrote, “Each circle around the heart is like a seed, each one holding potential projects, skills yet to learn, new experiences, new relationships.”

The many hearts feel like my support system of friends and family. The dashed lines in between the pink vertical lines create a basket like pattern and here I see how I was weaving my dreams. When I was drawing the semi-circle and the outer edge, I felt uncomfortable with how it was irregular and not a perfect circle. I wrote, “It reflects how I’m pushing the boundaries of where I’m at.”

Without any instruction, I was intuitively exploring the meaning of my mandalas.

One may look at this mandala and think it is awkward and even ugly. I look at this mandala and it reflects a turning point in my life where I began a new journey of listening to my heart and using mandalas as road maps for healing.

In the margins, I see where I wrote about my curiosity to learn more about the work of Carl Jung and the practice of creating mandalas for personal insight. Six months later, I took a deep dive into this study and opened up to a whole new practice of creating mandalas for self expression.


I discovered the work of Susanne Fincher and a fascinating framework called, “The Great Round” that explores twelve psychological stages that we all experience many times in our lives. I have worked through all of the stages six times, twice in my studies with Fincher and four times facilitating it for others. Each time, I uncover new things about myself.


Crazy Quilt Mandala

My latest “a-ha” came when I created this Crazy Quilt Mandala, a project from Susanne Fincher’s book, “The Mandala Workbook.”

This exercise is to explore Stage 11 called “Falling Apart” and reflects those times in our lives when changes have happened and we may feel disoriented and our familiar routines are disrupted or shattered. The change can be triggered by a natural disaster and we’ve lost our homes, an unexpected health diagnosis, promotion to a new position, or new ways of being that come with graduation, marriage, retirement, etc.

The first step in this exercise is to draw a circle and to randomly draw lines to break it up. I love to doodle, so I added additional patterns within each of the spaces. To color my mandala, I decided on a section that I would work on next and close my eyes and randomly select a colored marker. As you can imagine, I worked with colors and color combinations that I would never pick. This random approach is a good way of breaking patterns in how we work with color. While I found some of the results ugly, I made a couple of discoveries too.

The next step, is to cut out the mandala and then tear or cut it up into many random pieces. I was curious to see if there would be any sweet spots or interesting intersections of patterns and colors in the cut up pieces. Sure enough there was and they were highlighted when I completed the final step which was to arrange the pieces in a circular pattern on black paper. I was really surprised by how much I liked all of the colors set against black and in this new arrangement.


I had so much fun with this exercise that I pulled out some mandalas that I didn’t like and cut them up to create something new. The pieces almost look like stained glass set against the black paper. I loved how my opinions of the colors and patterns changed in each of these mandalas.

By arranging the pieces around a center point to create the suggestion of a circle, the results remind me of shattered glass. There is in each of these mandalas a feeling of movement.

This process of constructing something new after it has been destroyed illustrates how often we can’t welcome something new without something getting lost or changed along the way. In life, we may be changed by life circumstances and our lives may look completely different, but within us there are the memories. lessons learned, and perhaps new skills acquired. All is not lost.

Now for some who tried this exercise, they felt resistance in working with colors they did not like or felt uncomfortable with cutting up their mandala art.

The idea of not getting attached to the art and beauty that we create reminds me of the Tibetan Buddhist ritual of creating sand mandalas. Several monks will work painstakingly on constructing a beautiful mandala, one grain of sand at a time. At the end of the week, they ceremoniously sweep up the sand and release it in a nearby body of water. To see this process watch the video above.

Do you get attached to your mandala art? Sometimes I see students get attached to not only the beauty they create but more often they get attached to what they perceive as ugly art. They focus on perfection, creating perfectly straight or curved lines, at the expense of enjoying the process. It’s easy to get caught up in the striving and doing and lose sight of the joys of being in the moment.

I admit to feeing some resistance at the thought of working through a mandala lesson called, “Falling apart.” No one wants to feel like they don’t have control. What surprises me every time I show up for this lesson, is that I discover my child-like sense of play and curiosity in destructing the mandalas. There is a feeling of freedom and possibility. As I love piecing together puzzles, reconstructing the mandala felt much like a puzzle only better as I get to decide how the pieces go back into place.

My takeaway from Stage 11: Falling Apart, lies in these questions, “Can I bring curiosity and play into my life the next time I face uncertainty and when familiar routines are thrown off?” “Can I trust that not all is lost when things in my life radically change?”

GreatRound-2018-OverviewIf this sounds like a fascinating way to create mandalas, I invite you to join me for my next round of the Great Round. I’m really excited for it as I plan on taking the course as a participant (also while facilitating it). I now have the course lessons all dialed in after three years of study and work. I love how the video lessons for each stage turned out.

I’m eager to explore these stages in light of my big milestone, I’m turning 50 years old this summer. I’m curious to explore what needs my attention and to let go of any limiting beliefs that no longer serve me as I step into this next decade. Each time I go through the cycle, I see new things as I’m in a different place each time.

I’d love for you to join me and discover the adventures that the circle has to offer you.

Here are some details.

Great Round Online Course

Lessons run August 26, 2018 to December 9, 2018
Closing the Circle Celebration: January 2019 (date to be determined)

Instructor Led Course – Facilitated by Kathryn Costa.

15 Video Lessons – We cover 12 topics and there are over 100 mandala projects to choose from. Each lesson explores how colors, numbers, and symbols relate to the topics.

New for 2018! Twelve videos, one for each Stage plus supplemental videos on “How to Interpret Your Mandala” and “Introduction & Overview of the Great Round.” Each week a new lesson is released. Log in when it is convenient for you to watch the video lessons, download resources, and to post your mandala art.

100+ Mandala Projects – For each lesson there are several mandala projects for you to choose from to explore the topic. No art experience required.

4 Show &  Tell Webinars – We’ll meet live using Zoom to see and discuss the mandala art that you’ve created. This is a wonderful opportunity to connect with other mandala enthusiasts who share your curiosity for exploring the meaning of our mandalas. There is a lot of wisdom shared and everyone feels a sense of community by participating in these events. If you can’t attend live, a recording will be available.

Times will vary and will be scheduled based on the time zones of where participants live to reach as many people as possible. The webinar schedule will be determined after the first week of the course.


Handouts, References, Supplements – Beautifully designed helpful resources.

All this for only $75.


Not ready to buy but want to learn more? READ THIS.