07 May Mandala Coloring Meditation: Doing it Right
You have probably noticed the increase in Mandala books in newsagents or bookstores the world over in the last couple of years. They’re in the Post Office, cafes, hospitals, general stores, and most homes where there are children. But they’re also great for adults, and many of my clients and yoga teacher trainees love doing them as a mindful or meditative activity. However most people are not getting the most out of their mandalas because they’re not doing them properly.
By this I mean that Mandalas are not just an image to color in. For that there are plenty of coloring in books. A mandala is an experience and a form of meditation, that if done properly can bring you increased focus and a sense of calm.
According to Wikipedia, ‘A mandala (Sanskrit: मण्डल, maṇḍala; literally “circle”) is a spiritual and ritual symbol in Hinduism and Buddhism, representing the universe.’ However, just because it originates from Eastern religions, you do not have to be a Hindu or Buddhist to enjoy their benefits. They’re available for anyone looking for a calming activity that requires some concentration.
But done properly, coloring a mandala, brings you the benefits of enhanced focus, calm and inner strength that other types of meditation bring.
It’s very simple. A mandala should be colored in, in silence and with your focus being brought back to it fully, any time your mind wanders or you get distracted. It is a personal, individual activity that should be done without the distractions of daily life or interaction with others. Ideally you should color your manadala in at a table, sitting on a chair so that your spine stays erect and your knees are in line with your hips. Get your coloring pens ready, and then carve out 15-30 minutes of meditation time having locked yourself away from the distractions of family, employees, pets etc. Turn your phone to silent, get comfortable, and start coloring in. In regards to what colors or types of pens you should use, there is no right or wrong. However each symmetrical shape of the image should be filled in the same color so that there is a uniformed symmetry to the image once it’s finished.
Most importantly enjoy the experience and really try to use it as a form of mindful meditation, actively pushing away distractions in your mind or ignoring them around you, bringing your full attention back to the activity at hand. Once I’ve finished coloring mine in, I often make an origami heart out of it and keep them in a jar or give them to clients or friends. There are even mandala style bookmarks, stones and embroidery now to enjoy, so whether you have children or not, give yourself the time to enjoy this peaceful meditative activity.