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Hand Stencil Mandala

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This method aims to welcome participants into the group and connect them to the purpose of the session.


In the shape of a circle, participants are asked to draw an outline of their hand, introduce themselves, address one question that connects them to the purpose of the session, and share how they are feeling in the moment. Through this exercise, participants welcome each other into the group, while the tactile act of drawing invites grounding in the present moment. Drawing the hand echoes the ancient artistic practice of hand stenciling which can be viewed as a way of declaring one’s existence in the world. Keywords can be written in the hand drawing, creating a collective record. Throughout the workshop, additions can be made to highlight new layers or changing perspectives.


  1. Place a large sheet of blank paper and a set of coloured markers on the table;
  2. Ask all participants to introduce themselves briefly and answer a question aimed at connecting them to the purpose of the session (sample script):
  • In turn, trace the outline of your hand;
  • Say your name, a natural being or element that you feel connected to, and one word to describe how you feel in this particular moment;
  • In your hand, write down your name, the natural being, and your feeling.

  1. End the exercise by thanking all the participants for introducing themselves, and invite them to look at the colourful sheet of hand stencils that has been created.

Place on U
5-10 minutes
Materials Needed

A large sheet of paper (perhaps cut in the shape of a circle); colourful markers.

Care & Empathy
Tip and Experiences

Clearly explain the connection to ancient art practices and how this exercise will be used or referred to throughout the day.

Relevant References & Resources

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