Fayanna Leblanc November 18, 2019 Mandala Coloring Pages
Coloring is an activity long thought of as the child domain. It pretty easy to see how coloring is beneficial to children. They can learn about shapes and colors, and experiment with different artistic mediums. Moms and restaurant owners have known for ages that a few crayon and paper or place-mat to color on can still the restless child. Pre-school and elementary teachers know that coloring is a great interactive activity because it encourages concentration and focus while allowing the child to be creative and expressive.
I discovered this secret after years of playing with these "art meditations." It was a natural progression, one that could happen with anyone. Once I figured out how to make nice mandalas, I spent a lot of time looking at them. I was admiring them, of course (a special treat because I am not artistically gifted). But in time I noticed something interesting. I loved each and every mandala...the day I created it. Well, maybe not as briefly as one single day, but there was a definite time-frame, it seems, for each mandala. By the time I felt called to draw a new one, I would now love it the best, and the old ones didn’t seem as wonderful as they had in the beginning. They had faded into mere acceptability, their sparkle gone.
There was another gift to this process of reading my mandalas. Working with the mandalas helped me soften my sense of frustration and struggle. I could see that there was a beauty, an openness, a sense of potential in the "spacious" mandalas. This helped me relax into the discomfort of not knowing what was coming next and accept it as part of the art of living my life.
To make coloring a true meditative and spiritual experience seek out a made mandala design or create your own to color. Mandalas are complex, symmetrical geometric designs which draw the eye toward the center. Many religions use mandalas as a means of connecting the self to a higher power. Within Buddhism, mandalas are created as sacred places which, by their very presence, remind a viewer of the vastness of sanctity in the universe and its potential with in his or her own life. Creating a mandala is said to be a very powerful and sacred experience.
You could think of coloring as letting your inner child come out and have a fun time, or you could think of this activity as a form of meditation. Choosing colors and the gentle, repetitive motion of your hand as you bring color to paper helps quiet your mind--bringing your usual rapid-fire thoughts down to a much slower pace.
And each mandala was a perfect snapshot of where I was - emotionally, psychologically, spiritually - at a particular time. That’s why I loved them so much in the moment: they were mirrors of my soul state. That’s when I knew that drawing mandalas can be a perfect tool to liberate our hidden truths, help us know ourselves, and evolve. I began working with my mandalas - reading them, I call it - in much the same way as you can interpret dreams.