Today’s mindful Monday’s email although a day later than I had intended, is very dear to my heart because it is a mindfulness practice that I love. (And… who says it’s “late”? I’m the one who made up the name Mindful Mondays for these emails, so I give myself the permission to miss a Monday and send it out on Tuesday!)
So what is this mindfulness practice that I love? It’s drawing, coloring and painting mandalas.
Have you noticed all the coloring books on the market recently? They are on display as you walk into Barnes & Noble, they are popping up in the online advertising and even at the grocery check-out lanes. And have you noticed that many of them feature mandalas? Mandala is a word in Sanskrit meaning circle. Circles appear in nature (flowers, snowflakes, sun, moon, etc.), in architecture (rose windows) and are symbols in cultures throughout history (Celtic knots, dreamcatchers). I’ve been drawing and painting mandalas for over a decade. On my website I describe mandalas as being “… symbolic of wholeness, centeredness and unity; they remind us of our connection to the infinite. Mandalas can be a tool for deep inner contemplation and healing. The mandala is a physical representation of our inner journey.” What makes drawing or coloring mandalas a practice in mindfulness is that its repetitive nature allows your mind to relax and you can just practice being present with the shapes and colors.
So today I’d like to share with you a mandala coloring sheet that I drew for an article in 365 Being in 2013. I invite you to print it, take out your colored pencils, crayons or markers and color, and let your mind relax. Please feel free to share the coloring sheet! You could even make a class set to use with your students.
An article in Psychologies, Why adults are going back to colouring books says, “Concentrating this way replaces negative thoughts and creates a state of peace, and many people who have a difficult time with concentrative meditation can find this easier. This gentle activity where you choose the colours to create your picture and the repetitive action of colouring it in focuses the brain on the present, blocking out any intrusive thoughts.”
Even Fox News had an article about Mandalas .
If mandala making, drawing and coloring or painting is something that interests you and you’d like to do more of please let me know and I’ll send you an invite the next time my friend Charlotte and I offer an evening of mindfulness in which we explore mindfulness practices including yoga, meditation and art.