Mandala of the Larger Amida Sutra


Grade Level: 7, 8, High School, Young Adult, Adult

Keywords: Larger Amida Sutra, Pureland Buddhism


  • After this lesson, the student will know one portion of the Mandala


  • Pictures of Amida Sutra Mandalas from the internet
  • Large (3x3 feet) pieces of paper (depending on class size you might need 2x sheets)
  • Color markers or other drawing pens
  • Copies of Larger Amida Sutra


  • Make copies of the Larger Amida Sutra
  • Prepare drawing/writing materials


  1. Opening Gassho
  2. Introduction
    1. Early Mahayana and Pure Land monks often made illustrations of the sutras to assist monks in visualizing. In fact, this was consider (after copying the texts themselves) a very meritorious practice.
    2. Today, we will also create a visualization or a Mandala
    3. Sometimes, mandalas were done on paper, other times, on walls, sometimes in sand to symbolize the neverending change.
    4. Mandalas were geometric and were tools to help memorize/visualize the Sutra
  3. Mandala
    1. Have the students decide which section to illustrate
    2. Have the students choose the overall designer
    3. Divide the sheet to geometric portions (squares, rings, triangles) depending on the section
    4. Have the students decide who is working on which section and the overall design for each section.
    5. Design in pencil
    6. Color parts
    7. Start and close the work session with Gassho.
    8. When completed, all students should sign the back.
  4. Discuss how it felt, what was memorable
  5. Closing Gassho


  • Discussion


The completed mandala can be:

  • Framed & presented to the Temple.
  • Shredded and burned as a lesson in impermanence.

This lesson most likely will be multiple sessions.


Mas Nishimura,, San Jose Buddhist Church Betsuin, 2015