We in the henna tattoo business see a lot of mandala imagery on people’s bodies, which has me ruminating on why so many feel drawn to them. Yes, they’re absolutely gorgeous, and the intricacy involved in creating a mandala means a talented artist was at play. Everyone must be attracted to a beautiful piece of art, right? Sure, but I don’t think the appeal lies only in the pleasure of admiring a meticulously drawn geometric pattern. It is more likely the sacred symbolism that lures us in. While it’s true that each individual mandala signifies something unique, on the whole, mandalas speak to symmetry, balance, and the circle of life—the never-ending cycle of beginning and ending driven by that search for harmony and unity in our lives.

The ultimate beginning (birth) and ending (death) factors big, but life is also made up of endless starts and stops, openings and closures; commencement and completion. With each new round, hopefully we come away the wiser. So, to my mind, sporting a mandala, and gazing into it, becomes a meditation of sorts, kind of like having a focus point for prayer—that we can find wholeness and peace inside, as we navigate our days and nights, our dreams, and our hopes.

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