For mandala practice, you will need to make 5-colored rice for your offering mandala for accumulations and setup your refuge mandala for your altar. Scroll down to see instructions on what materials you need for mandala practice, how to make your 5-colored rice, and how to make your refuge mandala for your altar.

For mandala practice, you will need:





To make your 5-colored rice, you will need:

  • Rice. A 5-lbs. bag of rice is a good amount to start with. It will leave you with extra rice to top off your rice pile as you inevitably end up losing rice to spillage during the course of mandala practice.
  • Food coloring. Red, blue, green, and yellow dyes.
  • A large paper bag (4 separate bowls also work). You will mix the rice, food coloring, and rubbing alcohol on it.
  • Rubbing alcohol. This helps the food coloring spread all of the rice.

Watch the video below to see instructions on how to dye the rice:

To make your refuge mandala for your altar, you will need:

  • 5-colored rice and/or other precious objects such as gems, etc.
  • A multi-tier mandala set like in the image to the right, or a plate.

Make your refuge mandala and place it on your shrine before you begin your mandala (accumulation) practice. To make your refuge mandala, first clean the mandala plate with 5 Vajrasattva mantras (make a vajra fist, and go around the outside of your plate with your wrist, as you say the mantra). You are dissolving it into emptiness and recreating the mandala in space. Take refuge with prayer (see below) as mandala is constructed with rice and precious objects. Be immersed in the deep conviction that the mandala is the refuge.

Recite and repeat this refuge mandala prayer while making your mandala:

“I prostrate to the holy place of refuge. I offer up clouds of offering, limitless like space. I offer the actions of body, speech and mind. I offer even the atoms of my body, I offer all appearances, all virtue, past present and future. I confess all downfalls accumulated since beginningless time and rejoice in the merit of virtuous deed of all beings. With strongest faith I make these offerings to you my Guru and refuge. May you accept these offerings from the vastness of your compassion and may they benefit all beings.”

Once you are finished setting up your refuge mandala, place it on your altar.

Click here to download these instructions.