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.”



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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.



chakra, newsletter, offerings

Two Ways the Root Chakra is Helping Me

Did you miss this week’s newsletter? Here is a copy of this week’s edition. Not subscribed? Click Here.


One of the biggest delights this year has been how my journal workshops have turned out. When I put this idea out into the world in February, I wasn’t sure if anyone would sign up and if the idea would fly. It has turned out to be an amazing creative and SOULFUL journey for me and the participants.

Each workshop includes getting a gorgeous envelope in the mail with some little surprises tucked in that we use during the workshop. Participants find the Soul Journey guided meditation so relaxing and a way to tune in and listen to the widsom their soul. An oracle card is tucked inside the envelope; it is so fun to see how the message from the card is perfect for the person who gets it.

Kristens says, “Opening the envelope each month is better than my birthday and Christmas combined!”

Ann says, “I’m so glad that I gave myself this gift of time. It was so worth it.”

Yvonne says, “I felt so loved and nurtured.”

Allison says, “My favorite part is the Show & Tell, it’s where the magic happens. I get sooooo much out of other people’s experiences and insights. It seems like every time someone says something that just really gives me a “holy cow! wow!” moment.”

In the next workshop, we begin a new series where we explore the chakras where I combine my interest in the chakras, creating mandalas, and creative journal keeping. I’m offering the workshops a la carte so you can pick and choose when you want to participate. There is no obligation to do them all.

We begin with the root chakra which is about feeling safe, secure, connected, and peaceful. We’ll explore how this chakra connects with the four elements, air our mental state, water our emotions, fire our spiritual side, and earth our physical self.

As I’ve been preparing for this next workshop, I’ve been focusing on the root chakra and it has helped me in two ways. In one way, I’ve been aware of my body and have set positive intentions that guide me in making healthy choices. This week I’m down 16 pounds! The root chakra meditations are also helping me to ground my emotions. I’m not sure if it is because we are in the eclipse season known to stir up strong emotions, or that I’m turning 50 this week, but my emotions have been high and low and everything in between. Connecting with my root chakra through meditations, affirmations, and art making has helped me to feel grounded and more like the calm center in the storm.

In this workshop you’ll:

  • Learn about the root chakra.
  • Recognize the energies and qualities within yourself.
  • Balance body, mind, and spirit.
  • Connect with the wisdom of the turtle.
  • Create chakra mandala art.
  • Explore the topic with journal prompts.

You’ll receive:

  • A gorgeous envelope in the mail filled with surprise goodies to use in your journal.
  • Instant access to resources to get started balancing your root chakra.
  • An invitation to the new Journal Circle. It’s a private website for sharing your journals and experiences. It’s open to everyone who has taken one of the journal workshops.
  • Bonus video on how-to draw the chakra mandala.
  • Chakra template for creating a chakra mandala sun catcher using a recycled CD.

Live Online Workshop Sessions:

  • After you register, you’ll have the option to select the date/time that is best for you.
  • SESSION 1: Friday, August 31, 2018 from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., EST
  • SESSION 2: Saturday, September 1, 2018 from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., EST
  • Can’t attend live? You’ll get a recording of the events.
  • There are only 20 spots!

These workshops fill up so quickly!

$35 (same low price for US and International orders)

Learn More & Register

I’d love to share this creative and soulful journey through the chakras!

Kathryn Costa


Your Questions Answered

“Do you find that the day you really resist creating a mandala is the very day you NEED to do one?”

Most definitely! It is true that when I feel resistance, it is a time when I need to show up. Invariably, when I break through those feelings of resistance and restlessness, I end up creating some of my favorite works of art and my energy and emotions shift to feeling lighter and more grounded.

When resistance strikes, I notice what is going on. It may be that I’m exhausted and need a nap! More often, I have some emotions that want my attention and this is when I sit before the circle with an open heart. To get things started, I’ll draw a grid as it is an easy starting point. Then I’ll allow the pattern to emerge without thinking too much. Playing some light music also helps to soothe my soul as I create. I reach for colors that I find attractive in the moment. Some days, the colors are vibrant and others light and soft. Sometimes the palette is warm and other times it is cool. I trust my intuition to guide me. As an alternative activity, you may trace a circle and then pull out some pastels and work organically.

My background in studying the Great Round comes into play as I use what I’ve learned to interpret the colors, symbols, and overall design of my mandala. I notice the thoughts and feelings as I work and I enjoy being the sacred observer as I watch the mandala emerge. I enjoy sitting with my mandala and journal as I make connections between what I’ve created and what is going on in my life at the moment.

Do you have a question? E-mail me at


Explore the Meaning in Your Mandalas

I’m excited for the Great Round course this fall. Now that I have the lessons all dialed in with great videos, I’m planning on taking the course along side the participants. I’m at a turning point in my life as I mark my 50th birthday, and I’m curious to work intuitively to see what shows up. It will be fun to have the time to take this course as both participant and facilitator.

Truly, every time I approach the circle, it feels like a new adventure awaits.

Are you curious to learn about the meaning of your mandala art? In this series, we explore what the symbols, shapes, numbers, and colors convey in the mandalas that we create.

If your curiosity is piqued, I hope you’ll join me.

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.

Get the Details & Enroll

mandalas, offerings

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 teachings have been shared through mantras (sound vibrations) and yantras (visual representations).

The basic shape of a yantra is a circle with a ring of lotus petals. At the center, is a geometric pattern often with one or more triangles around a central dot. The entire shape is contained within a square with four “gates” in each of the cardinal directions. Color plays an important role in yantras as they bring energy, meaning, and intention to the design.

Yantras may be a part of a mandala where the yantra design is at the center and additional shapes, patterns, and colors are added as an expression of the artist’s exploration of the yantra’s energy and meaning.


To begin this new exploration, I thought it fitting to start with the Ganesh Yantra.


Lord Ganesha is commonly associated with the beginner of both inner and outer journeys and the remover of obstacles. It is also a good yantra as this is a foundational year for my career. There is a lot of uncertainty and my intention for creating this yantra is to bring clarity, confidence, guidance, and good fortune to my endeavors.


As I considered the shapes and colors for this yantra, I drew upon what I’ve learned from studying and teaching the Great Round and my knowledge of the chakras.

I thought of the root chakra and chose red for the square and “gates” for three reasons:

  1. The root chakra is about safety, security and having a solid foundation.
  2. Elephants are associated with the root chakra and Ganesh bears the head of an elephant.
  3. The sturdy square with the four gates is reflective of Stage 7 in the Great Round where we “stand four square in who we are.” Red is among the colors typically used in this stage.

Triangles indicate a direction and here the upward pointing triangle conveys moving forward.  We see upward facing triangles in Stage Four of the Great Round when we are about to start something new, a burst of creativity, or it can refer to our aspirations. It is the symbol for the element fire and is associated with masculine “doing” energy.

Within the triangle is the six-pointed star formed by two triangles, one pointing upward and the second one pointing downward. This perfectly balanced symbol brings together and harmonizes both the masculine and feminine qualities.

Blue is associated with emotions and I chose to color the inner symbols in blue to soothe and balance my mind and emotions, with what I’m thinking and feeling.

Green was chosen as it’s the color of the heart chakra. What better container for the mind and emotions than a circle of love?

Orange and red petals capture my creative spirit and passion which I know will help me and my projects to blossom.

Lastly, I added a gold dot in the center, referred to by Hindus as the bindu. The bindu provides a focal point for centering one’s attention during meditation.

After I decided on my color palette for this yantra, I allowed my mind to float as different thoughts about my hopes, aspirations, and dreams emerged while coloring in the shapes. At times my thoughts veered down memory lane and different work scenarios. As each color was applied, I felt my energy and excitement rise.


Meditating with this Yantra

I finished this yantra late in the evening. When done, I sat with it looking at all of the colors and memorizing each of the lines, shapes, and symbols. It wasn’t until the next morning during the liminal space between sleeping and waking that I intuited the meaning that this yantra had for me.

In my mind’s eye, I pictured the shapes and colors. I tuned in and felt my uncertainty and doubt around two recent projects. In both cases, I was doubting myself which is not a common feeling for me. Usually I’m decisive and when I take action, I accept that what is done is done. This time was different, perhaps because I’ve been feeling attached to the outcome.

Later in the morning, I spent time writing in my journal with periodic glances at the yantra. In a flash, I realized how much energy I was wasting by second guessing myself and listening to the opinions of others. When we put other peoples ideas, fears, and opinions before ours, we give our power away. Ah-ha! Now I see what is blocking me.

In my heart, I truly believe that the outcomes will be for the highest good for all. There is no need to worry. This is a time to relax in the uncertainty. As I easily and effortlessly released the worries, feelings of excitement filled my body, mind, and spirit. I can’t wait to see where my curiosity and creativity will take me next.


Traditional Colors for Ganesh Yantra

The next day I returned to the Ganesh Yantra and this time used the traditional colors. I added flowing lines within the green areas, my own artistic invention, to represent the flow inward that happens when obstacles are removed.


Version 3: Going with the Flow

Looking at my first two Ganesha Yantras, I decided to create a third one that is a fusion of some traditional colors with some colors and elements of my own choosing. I believe intention is the very most important ingredient in making powerful art. Before sitting down, I knew the palette and design for this yantra so I was able to fully let go into the process of creating it. Some of the lines are not precisely drawn, and I love it just as it is for it’s a reflection of my own perfectly imperfect container (aka body).

Thoughts drifted to the idea of flow, which coincidentally is my word-for-the-year. I thought about the importance of recognizing and releasing limiting beliefs and which ones that are blocking me. After I finished creating this yantra, I was moved to take an action step on an opportunity that I’m pursuing. I was impressed how the words for my letter flowed from my mind onto the computer screen.

This is the power of creating mandala art. We can relax and tap into our inner wise self, our inner Ganesha. The process of creating and coloring can be an opportunity for brainstorming, discerning, reflecting, and planning. It’s certainly so much more than making a pretty picture.


Are you curious to learn more about the meaning of your mandalas?

For the first time in three years, I’m offering my Great Round course in the fall. It starts on August 26, 2018. It’s a fascinating series that will give you insights about yourself and your life experiences. You’ll find the exploration both insightful and empowering.

Early Bird special, enroll before June 27th at get $20 off.

>>Get the details and sign up here.



What’s Your Relationship with Money?


What does your relationship with money look like?

When Sherina Mayani invited me to be an “expert” for her upcoming Money Flow Masterclass, I felt a lot of resistance. My initial reaction was, “I’m not an expert with money!” When I saw that the course tagline read, “create an epic business” I pushed back again and said to Sherina, “My audience is not made up of people building a business. There may be a few who are pursuing entrepreneurship but most of my audience is exploring their creativity and seeking ways to live joyfully.”

In our conversation, I learned that this series is focused on our relationship with money and the energy and mindsets around it. I realized that whether you are building a business or not, we all have a relationship with money and there would be lessons here we all could draw from and apply to where we are at in our lives.

As Sherina described her vision for this series, I liked how she invited each featured expert to prepare a 20 minute mini lesson. Some of the experts have finance backgrounds others like me explore our money relationships with different modalities. As we explore how we are with money, we can see how these same mindsets are affecting other areas in our lives. From talking with Sherina, it sounds like her line-up will be interesting and well rounded.

My challenge was to create a 20 minute mandala lesson, using tools and supplies found in every household, and accessible to those who don’t think they can draw or believe to be creative. In spite of the resistance I felt when invited to participate, I decided to take on this challenge.

The lotus metaphor shows us how to bloom in murky conditions.

I love my creative brain. Within hours of my conversation with Sherina, I explored my own relationship with money over the years and the image of the lotus came to mind. The lotus metaphor shows us how to bloom in murky conditions. I find hope in this image as it reminds me that I too can bloom where I am planted, even when the water is muddy.

If your money relationship needs some loving attention, check out my new Lotus Money Flow Mandala lesson that I prepared for Sherina’s Money Flow Masterclass. While I’m not an expert in finance, I am an expert on how we can shift our energy and mindset using the expressive arts.Stills-Member-April2018-MoneyFlow

I’m looking forward to this series and exploring my own relationship and mindsets with money. Already, I’m seeing a shift after creating my lesson for the series; my feelings about money and my purchasing decisions are changing. I also find that I’m taking the time to track income and expenses and evaluating where I need to put my precious time. I know I have more work to do in the area of money management and my lifelong relationship with money. What I do know is that I’m ready for some truth telling, to take off the blind fold, repair my little piggy bank and to learn, grow, nurture, and thrive in the area of money.

How about you? Are you ready to make some healthy shifts in your relationship with money? Join me!

Learn more and Sign up for Sherina Mayani’s FREE Money Flow Master Class.