Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Coloring Therapy - Mandalas

When I've had a bad day, sometimes I just want to go home and color. Yes, I'm 30 years old. And I still color. How can you not be happy with a big rainbow of markers to play with?

Now, I'm not coloring Smurfs coloring book pages (though if anybody has a Smurf coloring book they want off they're hands, that sure would be AWESOME!) When I was in high school, I had a religion teacher who got all her classes hooked on Mandalas. She had us color these intricately patterned circles during class as a meditation. And by hooked, I mean we got in trouble in other classes for coloring them. Whoops.

According to the Mandala Project website:

The word "mandala" is from the classical Indian language of Sanskrit. Loosely translated to mean "circle," a mandala is far more than a simple shape. It represents wholeness, and can be seen as a model for the organizational structure of life itself--a cosmic diagram that reminds us of our relation to the infinite, the world that extends both beyond and within our bodies and minds.

Describing both material and non-material realities, the mandala appears in all aspects of life: the celestial circles we call earth, sun, and moon, as well as conceptual circles of friends, family, and community.

Now that sounds lovely, if not a little New Age Douchey. However, as "grown-up" (and I use that term loosely), I really do find coloring Mandalas relaxing and meditative. There are lots of websites that offer free downloads of assorted Mandala art for you to print and color. Check out here, here and here. Of course if you google mandalas, you will find even more. There are also a plethora of Mandala coloring books you can buy (someone's birthday is coming up, BTW). You do not have to be high on the creative/artistic spectrum to enjoy Mandalas. They are pretty much beautiful no matter what.

I have even made my own Mandala designs, both digitally and hand-drawn, which is just as satisfying and mind-easing (if not more-so) as coloring! For the hand-drawn ones, I simply print out a circle on blank paper, and fill it in, Zentangle-style. It's like doodling with a wee bit of structure. Here are a couple Daydream Believer Original Mandalas that you can download.

Download a pdf of this HERE. Or just click on the image to get the full-size jpeg, which is big enough to print and color.

Download a pdf of this HERE.
Or just click on the image to get the full-size jpeg, which is big enough to print and color.

I will periodically have more original mandalas available for free download here, so stay tuned!

1 comment:

  1. OMG! YES! There's a grown up coloring book at Michael's that I eye everytime I go there.