Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Mandala Color Books: Conduits to New Age Meditation

Mandala Color Books: Conduits to New Age Meditation

Adult coloring has recently become a national passion.  Proof of this can be found in any book store where the first thing you'll see upon entering are shelves brimming with every kind of color book imaginable.  And congregated around these shelves you'll find enthusiastic colorists who'll be eager to share how enjoyable this current color fad can be.  And like many others it may not be long until you'll be picking up a book or two just to try it out.

Now, from your first examination of these color books you'll note they aren't like the color books of your youth, for at least half of them are distinctly New Age in look, and content.  And second, you'll note that they almost all purport to help calm, soothe, de-stress, and relax you into a meditative state.  Finally, you'll soon discover some of these intriguing books have tantalizing patterns called "mandalas" that will entice you to look at them over and over.  These mesmerizing "sacred circles"  are designed to visually take you to their centers to discover "Your Higher Self."  And yes they are deceptive, and no they aren't Christian!

So be aware that there are many seductive 'spiritual' color books out there both for adults and children alike.  Thus, should you decide on trying out some coloring, or buying some for others, one should ponder the Biblical warning from Psalm 101:3 that states: "I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes; I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave to me." And because "mandalas" have a hidden agenda this article is written to inform colorists, and non colorists exactly what they are, and what they are made for.

Sacred Circle Mandalas: Conduits to Meditation

A mandala means "circle" in Sanskrit--a sacred circle, or container that uses alluring symbols, dazzling colors, and mystical patterns.  Alberta Hutchinson, in the Mystical Mandala Color Book (Dover) defines mandalas this way: "symmetrical geometric designs which are traditionally used for meditative purposes by drawing our eye to the center of the circle."  A Little Mandalas (Dover) color book calls them "mystical motifs which symbolize the universe, wholeness, and eternity."  And a kids' color book: My First Mandalas (Dover) by Anna Pomaska maintains mandalas are a Far Eastern tradition with "intriguing centers and fascinating focal points."  In summary, "Mandala" from "Religionfacts.com" says, "Simply stated, a mandala is a sacred geometric figure that represents the universe.  When completed a mandala becomes a sacred area that serves as a receptacle for deities and a collection point of universal forces. By mentally entering a mandala and proceeding to its center, a person is symbolically guided through the cosmos to the essence of reality."

Mandalas are a visual tool to take one into a meditative state just as mantras are a vocal tool to lead one into emptying one's mind.  As one repeatedly gazes, contemplates, looks upon, stares at the mandala while following its hypnotic patterns it can have the effect of relaxing the person into an altered state, or even a trance.

Speaking of a "meditative state" on December 12, 2015 the Orlando Sentinel had this front page article: "Adults Find Meditative State Coloring Away Stresses of Life" by Bethany Rogers.  The accompanying photo showed grandmotherly types coloring "Color Me Calm" pages at the Minneola Schoolhouse Library.  This was but one of four "Color Me Calm"* sessions where ladies gathered sipping tea, coloring, and listening to a flute tune titled "Morning Stillness."

The article noted that of the top twenty selling books on Amazon.com ten of these were adult color books.  It also said these books had page after page of intricately drawn mandalas, animals, inspirational phrases, and woodland scenery.  The article quotes devotee of Zen meditation Gabe Coeli, co-founder of Blue Star Coloring Books, who in the middle of the day often takes a short cut to mindfulness by doing a little coloring. 

*  The name of a color book: Color Me Calm

Buddhist Sand Mandalas

A must-see mandala You Tube video "Tibetan Buddhist Mandala" (July, 8, 2011) is a good jumping off point into understanding the background, and true meaning of mandalas.  After viewing the short video below, read the accompanying description by Karen H. Sallick.

In her vivid depiction Sallick walks one through the process of how the monks funnel hand-ground precious stones onto a grid to create magnificent mandalas.  Sallick points out that every aspect of a mandala has a meaning.  Its center represents "The Buddha of Compassion" while  the next circle contains four different Buddhas.  After, there's a circle of lotus leaves, and as Sallick says, "The family of Buddhas that are in the center are sitting in a ring of lotus." 

Outside those circles comes a protection ring keeping one from negative thoughts; and finally, comes a fire ring helping one burn through ignorance into enlightenment.  No sooner do the monks complete their mandala masterpiece, than all its deities are swept away into an offering vase.  This deity offering is then dumped into flowing water to spread its blessings back to earth.  Buddhists believe all who have watched the construction, and destruction of the sand mandala can gain merit, and take on the Buddha nature.  Recall Biblical deities were dumped into water too, not as offerings but because they were idolatrous-the work of man's hands!

Shakti Color Book's Goddesses and Mandalas

A look at Ekabhumi C. Ellik's color book should be an awakening to any who are considering mandala coloring. To view this color book with Bhuvaneshvari, the goddess of spaciousness, regent of manifest creation, and universal earth mother on its cover go to Amazon.com or on Facebook under: The Shakti Color Book.

On its Facebook page you'll see pictures from the book colored by people who post them to the site.
One very disturbing post showed a child posing as a goddess while her mom told how obsessed with the goddesses her child was.  Ellik's reply to this mother was, "I'm so happy to contribute to helping girls recognize their inner divinity."  A comment below read, "Beautiful little goddess, keep that feeling."  Another post photo showed a young girl proudly holding up a goddess in a mandala she'd colored.

YogaDork's article: "Grab Your Crayon's and Say Om: Coloring Art as a Meditative Practice" has an excerpt from Ellik's book.  In it Ellik speaks of the goddesses depicted in the book by saying, "The goddesses who appear in the The Shakti Color Book encompass the entire spectrum of cosmic phenomena, mirroring our most expansive Self. ... Their mystic diagrams--their mandalas and yantras --have a powerful influence on our awareness when we mediate upon them and visualize them internally.  Our energy body is repatterned ... helping us to recognize behaviors that our of alignment with our most expansive nature, which is the Goddess herself."

Ellik has also begun a "Shiva Color Book."  And Ellik asks readers: "What images ... forms of Shiva ... related deities ... mandalas or yantras ... should be included?"  Ellik also invites all to join him at an "Embrace Your Shakti: A Yoga Coloring Workshop" where they can begin their New Year with some goddess power.

In an August 2015 comment Ellik sums up the purpose of his color book when he says, "it's an opportunity to introduce sacred art as an intrinsic part of YOGIC practice to a HUGE number of people who may think it's only stretching and feeling calm."  He also notes,  "... to have readers introduced to this book is a great way to help shift public opinion away from yoga-is-exercise-to-look-and-feel-good-and-back-toward, well YOGA."  Ellik gives us a truth many undiscerning Christians are not acknowledging about yoga and mandalas!  Think about it!

Carl Jung's Mandalas

It was Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung who helped bring "mandala making and mandala meditation" to the West.  His classic mandala work Mandala Symbolism is named as a resource by the Mandala Project.  Here's an article "Psychology of the Mandala" from Creatingmandalas.com that tells how Jung used mandalas himself, and how he used them with his clients.  This is the same Carl Jung who had a life-time spirit guide named "Philemon."  For more about Jung's life from a Christian vantage point read the transcript from the John Ankerburg Show: "The Seduction of Christianity Part I" by Johanna Michaelson and Dave Hunt done in 1985.

Color Book Mandalas: Conduits to Meditation for Kids of All Ages

Children's Mandala Color Books and More:

Joy Mandalas
"Mandalas of Joy for Children" offers thirty free color pages that will free the child's mind to think out of the box, for they say there's is no right or wrong way to color.
Crayola Crayon Mandalas 
Crayola offers a school plan to enable kids to work in groups of four to create a large mandala just as the monks used to do.  Make that "just as the monks do today!"

Preschool Printable Mandalas 
Preschool mandalas are available from Education.com. so even the youngest colorists will become familiar with the term "mandala." http://www.education.com/worksheets/preschool/mandalas/

Meditation Mandalas
Do You Yoga tells kids their whole body is a "mandala" with its center being their "belly button."  Kids, in a "child's pose," color mandalas with quiet background music.  The site advises when a mandala is finished hang it up, and use it for meditation.  It suggests one breathe deeply, gaze at the center of the Mandala, and let thoughts and emotions come without following them.  Then, "slowly dive deeper into the center of the Mandala and into the harmony and love it represents."  And Do You Yoga says kids from five and up can participate.

Rainbow Mandalas
Rainbow Crystal Connection describes how kids can make a "Rainbow Mandala."  The author says "When I explain Mandalas to kids I tell them they are a reflection of 'you'-of how you are feeling and how complex and beautiful you are."

Activity Book Mandalas
Everyday Mandala for Children is a series of activity books designed for ages four and up based on "The Shichida Method" that uses mandalas with youngsters that requires them to capture the image of a Mandala within seconds, and apply the colors onto an uncolored Mandala.  The method boasts even a child of two can do it.  Its method includes holding a Mandala against a plain wall, asking a child to stare at the Mandala focusing on its center, and then visualizing it in their mind.  Children are told to hold that image there as long as possible.  And suggests the article you as an adult should also join in.

Guided Meditation Mandalas
A teacher taught mandala art and meditation to a group of first-third graders "which took to mandalas very easily."  Her simple guided meditation had the kids drawing their inner flower, their inner sun, inner light, and peace.

Dream Music Mandalas
"Pure Relaxation for Children" produces a You Tube video of mesmerizing music with vibrant mandalas shown in kaleidoscopic fashion.

Kids' Magical Mandalas
German author Arena Verlag has created a color book Kids' Magical Mandalas found on Amazon.com.  A "Look Inside" note reads, "When kids start to color ... magic happens.  Suddenly they quiet down, become deeply drawn into the image ....  The reason: all the patterns are evenly distributed around a center ... of balance and harmony that no youngster can resist."

My First Mandalas
Anna Pomaska's color book My First Mandalas says this book is an invitation for little artists to experience mandalas.  Its "Note" inside states mandalas were once used for healing and offerings but now they are "just for fun."  False, for as this paper proves they are very definitely made for other than fun!

Kids' Mandalas
Arena Verlag has a second Kids' Mandalas color book which brags, "This isn't a color book--it's a calming book with beautiful patterns and inviting images that help kids concentrate."  Ah, there is that bait again this will help youngsters calm down, de-stress, and chill out so they will surely focus better.  Don't buy it.

Mindfulness Mandalas
Here's a piece from Kids' Yoga Resource that tells how middle schoolers form a circle with mats to create a "sacred space."  Into this they quietly create a mandala from found objects as stones, shells and so on as soft music is played in the background.  They dismiss with a savasana or "corpse pose," and a "Namaste" or "I bow to the god in you, and you bow to the god in me."

Easy Mandalas
Free for the printing a site offers easy mandala coloring pages for kids, and even adults with various styles and themes. http://www.free-mandalas.net/niveaux-de-difficulte/easy-children/

Active Meditation Mandalas
An article From Kids Growing Up Psychic Series by psychic Melissa Leath details how she uses "active meditation" or anything that keeps kids focused and calm as e.g. making mandalas.  Afterward kids softly stare at their mandala while trying not to blink.  As they breathe in and out, Leath explains, "a shift" comes while colors in the mandala seem to change and move.  At this point, says Leath, kids will feel energy flowing from the mandala.  They are then to close their eyes to see an inner vision, and to feel more energy.  And so Leath a medium, mentor, and author leads kids into her psychic world. http://shaheenmiroinsights.com/2015/03/30/active-meditation-for-kids-creating-your-own-mandala-by-melissa-leath/

Momma 'N Manila's Meditation Mandalas
In "Meditating With Children" a yoga teacher uses many meditative methods such as meditation with a felt heart during  chakra lessons, and meditation with mandalas they have created.

Everyone's Mandalas
Psychotherapist Monique Mandali has written a series Everyone's Mandala Coloring Book: Vol.1-3 created for all ages 4-104.  About one someone wrote, "Finally a coloring book for kids and adults.  I bought one for my grandson and my 85-year-old mother ... they both love it!"   Of mandala meditation Mandali said, "The act of coloring the mandala is all about connecting with it as a calmer, peaceful, more balanced version of yourself ... (so) take a deep meditative breath and step into the circle."  http://www.mandali.com/  and http://www.mandali.com/uses/

A Billion Peace Mandalas
Mandali has also created a Peace Mandala Coloring Book with twenty-five mandalas with the help of kids ages 6-15 from around the world.  This book, maintains Mandali, will help spread the seed of harmony for the next 1000 years!  An inner city school teacher shares how her entire school is now making peace mandalas crediting Mandali with saying "it may take a billion peace mandalas to bring tranquility to human kind."  And a pediatric neurologist testifies, "My doctor's office is full of Monique's colored mandalas."  How clever to create "mandalas" under the guise of peace.  As Christians we know that there will be no peace until The Prince of Peace returns!

Monkeymind and Mandalas
The Toronto District Schools features "Meet the Self" for kids K-6 that includes "Monkeymind" an excitable puppet who has trouble with self-regulation.  In hour long sessions kids do mindfulness, breathing, regulation methods, and meditation.  To end the course kids make a whole-group mandala.

Mandala Project Mandalas
The Mandala Project dedicates itself to promoting peace through art and education.  If one clicks onto its intertwining mandala logo you can learn of: "About the Project," "What Is a Mandala," "Links and Resources," "Education," "What's New," "The Labyrinth Project," and "Mandalas."  The Mandala Project also hosts: "Circling the Curriculum: Mandala Workshop" for teachers on how to insert the mandala into every aspect of the curriculum.  All sorts of lesson plans are offered as "Mandala Storymap" using mandalas as a tool for reading, or "Middle School Mandalas" using mandalas in math and history.  Its links/ resources provide such New Spirituality materials as e.g. Judith Cornell's "Mandala Healing Kit" with a workbook and guided CD of Cornell's meditations.  All of this is at the fingertips of  teachers ready to be used with innocent children to introduce them to a variety of New Age practices!  Be on the alert!  http://www.mandalaproject.org/Index.html

There are even more children's mandala materials that can't be listed here; but the bottom line is that the mandala coloring craze is not just an adult coloring book problem, it is being used  with children and teens.  Be watchful!  Teach your children what these seducing circles really are about!

Adult Mandala Color Books and More

Coloring Mandalas
Susanne F. Fincher, founder of Creatingmandalas.com., Presbyterian, Jungian psychotherapist, counselor, art therapist, author mandala books, and mandala intensives has led thousands to the spiritual, psychological and health enhancing dimensions of creating mandalas.  Author of four Coloring Mandalas books by Shambhala Publishing Fincher's first book, Coloring Mandalas 1: For Healing and Self-Expression, says that as a symbol of Self, the mandala connects us to our innermost being.  These mandalas are organized according to the "Great Round of the Mandala"-- a scheme of twelve archetypal stages of human growth.  http://creatingmandalas.com/susanne-f-fincher

Coloring Mandalas 3: Circles of the Sacred Feminine is totally pagan beginning with "Prayer to the Earth Mother."  Inside notes tell the colorist to consider these sacred images holy, and to set aside a sacred space to work on them.  Doing this will allow their "harmonious designs" to kick in just as their ancient chants will resonate within one in calming and revitalizing ways.  And says an "introductory description" of this idolatrous book: "Coloring the circular designs ... is a relaxing, meditative activity enjoyed by adults and children alike.  ...  The mandalas in this book are ... designed to provide a creative encounter with the Divine as a feminine presence."

Three-D Mandalas
Lisa Tenzin-Dolma, of the UK , is an author of a number of mandala books including the Mindful Mandala Colouring Book that contains seventy-eight meditative mandalas each containing an "elaborate explanation" and a "guided meditation."  A reviewer, "Colour with Claire" declares "it (colour book) does feel like a bible for mandala lovers." 

Besides the colour books, Tenzin-Dolma has also put together a 3D multimedia mandala kit for lovers of sacred patterns as well as meditators where one can put on 3D specs, drop in a CD, and follow a step-by-step guide into mandala contemplation.

Color Me Calm Mandalas
A Zen Coloring Book, Color Me Calm by Lacy Mucklow, author and art therapist, has 100 coloring templates for meditation and relaxation.  It has seven therapeutically themed chapters beginning with "Mandalas" and ending with "Spirituality."  Of this very popular color book it is said, Color Me Calm is a guided color book for harried adults."

Reading Session Mandalas
The Mandala Lady, Maureen Frank, is a mandala artist and intuitive reader, who does channeled visualization "Mandala Reading Sessions" for customers via Skype or telephone.  Maureen relates that during a Reiki session she was told she wasn't into the creative side of her brain, and she should get herself a color book.  Maureen did.  Later, at a New Age book store she came upon mandalas.  First she colored them, but soon she began to create them.  And then it was on to meditating on them, and soon she had "mandala messages" for others.  Now, she creates daily, week, monthly, and yearly mandalas as well as a whole line of "color your own" cards, prints, and color books.

I Love Mandalas
Jim Gogarty, of iheartmandalas.com (I Love Mandalas) calls himself "Mandala Jim."  Gogarty began drawing mandalas in 2005 after a spiritual awakening during meditation.  This meditative moment catapulted Jim into the mandala making business with its "About Mandalas," "Simple/Advanced Mandalas," "Mandala Tutorials," "Mandala Clothing," (Kids too!), and "Mandala Prints and Merchandise." 

Jim is the author of The Mandala Coloring Book with its 100 mandala coloring pages.  "This book," asserts Gogarty, "encourages you to use your imagination to create vibrant patterns that bring you closer to your true self."  Its "Introduction" attests, "By mentally 'entering' the mandala and moving toward its center, one is guided through the cosmic process of disintegration."  Its intro ends with this tidbit, "A clear mind and healthy body are just a meditation away, so pick up your pencil."

In Love with Mandalas
Christina, a mandala mom, records she came across mandalas by accident when buying a mandala color book for her son.  Instantly drawn to it she next went out and bought a mandala one for herself, and now is in love with it!  She recommends you too try out this amazing mandala coloring by sampling pages from Alberta Hutchinson's Mystical Mandala Coloring Book --the one with the dazzling sun mandala on its cover.  An inside "Note" contends, "These exotic mandalas hold a special significance and provide a focal point for meditation."

Sacred Art Mandalas
Michal Beaucaire and Paul Heussenstamm's The Art of Mandala Meditation unlock what mandalas are made for--meditation.  A "Look Inside" this book reveals its true New Age colors.  Its back cover reveals Paul has been a spiritual artist for years now traveling with the Deepak Chopra Center.  One glance at Paul's web page, "Mandalas.com" will set off alarm bells signaling this is a site full of "sacred art" ready to seduce and entice any na├»ve colorist. http://www.mandalas.com/

One of the mandalas Paul creates, is the Hindu Sri Yantra a type of mandala with a Bindu center, of which he writes, "This pattern is considered the 'Mother' of all mandalas ..." 

Michal wrote that when she selected Paul as her artist she visited his site "Mandalas.com" and found 2,000 mandalas to pick from in just the right colors and shapes for each meditation in the book.  Michal shares, "The colors of each mandala bear the right energetic frequency of the meditation ....  For example, all inner strength meditations are in yellow ....  Yellow is the color of the Solar Plexus Chakra, and the essence of 'I' is connected to this chakra."

Healing Mandalas
A Steven Vrancken in "Your Introduction of the Healing Powers of Mandala Color Pages" spells out the powers behind the mandala in this quote that says, "I awaken to the power of the mandala, A sacred circle of light and energy, A pathway to center--to my center and to the Universal All, A channel for healing body, mind, and spirit." 

Meditative Mandalas
David Fontana has written Meditating with Mandalas: 52 New Mandalas to Help You Grow in Peace and Awareness.  Fontana maintains that the mandala is like a mirror that helps to do discover who we are. ... Like a mirror it accepts all that it sees."  Every mandala like others mentioned is accompanied by a guided meditation.  Speaking of a mirror, it is the Word of God that is like a mirror which reveals our true nature as a sinner falling short of the glory of God.

Prayer Circle Mandalas: Conduits to Prayer for Contemplatives

Sunday School Mandalas
Baptist Global News Asst. Editor Jeff Brumley wrote a piece: "Adult Coloring Books Emerging as Popular Spiritual Practice."  How so?  Brumbley says, "Using crayons ... to focus the mind while praying or to contemplate Scripture can be as beneficial as walking a prayer labyrinth or creating an icon, say ministers of spiritual formation."

Brumley goes on to say that Blake Burleson, his co-editor and senior lecturer in religion at Baylor University, who with spiritual formation minister at Freemason St. Baptist Church, Norfolk, Virginia Michael Sciretti Jr., wrote Entemplating: Baptist Wisdom for Contemplative Prayer, teaches that praying while coloring puts the mind on hold while elevating the role of the heart in prayer.  Burleson also states, "Every religion uses art to express itself--whether it's an icon, a mandala, calligraphy, or a cave painting."  Maybe, Burleson should turn to Ezekiel 8 to see what the Lord had
to say about idolatrous wall art in the temple!

Burleson confides he uses various contemplative practice while teaching Sunday school.  He writes, "I'll bring in a mandala ... read Scripture ... and (we) color the mandala."  Burleson says such practices especially appeal to young adults, for in our spiritual lives certain forms become boring.  Note; A Carl Jung mandala reproduced by Burleson accompanies this Baptist article.

How about a "Pray-date" with hands-on mandala prayers?  Rev. Sharon Garner, a United Methodist pastor and Ignatian Spiritual Director, suggests this.  Garner also conducts "Praying Mandala Sessions" with one to be at a Jesuit Retreat House as well as a United Church of Christ location.  To further her mandala cause she's written: Praying with Mandalas: Contemplative Coloring for Contemporary Christians.  Here the mandala becomes a "tool" to enter a contemplative state, and to do contemplative prayer!

Faith Circle Mandalas
Bro. Michael O'Neill McGrath, OSFS in "Faith Circles" in America Magazine in October 2012 wrote of the mystic St. Hildegard of Bingen, a Benedictine spiritual guide, who chanted meditative melodies and painted circle mandalas.  This mandala making, says McGrath, will allow one to paint, and pray at the same time.  McGrath reflects, "The process leads the painter to deeper levels of self-awareness and to the presence of God within."

In addition, McGrath notes, "The time spent creating a mandala is a mini-retreat that teaches me to be still and listen to the quiet voice within.  As Teresa of Avila used to say, 'God cannot rest in an unquiet heart.'"  http://americamagazine.org/issue/5155/art/faith-circles

UK Kids' Mandalas 
This UK Hallem Diocese admires Hildegard's sacred circular drawings too. The article then mentions that a number of schools are now using Mandalas as part of their spiritual curriculum, where a whole school "stills" and "calms down" while listening to meditative music as they make mandala booklets.

Devonzine Magazine Mandalas
In "Color Yourself Closer to God" Robin Pippin from the Upper Room's Devonzine shares that while working with a child's spirituality program, "The Way of the Child" by Wynn McGregor that she discovered mandalas.  Pippin contends, "The purpose of coloring mandalas is spiritual ... designed to bring me closer to God and to get in touch with my heart."  Yes, in touch with one's Higher Self as New Agers call it!  See Ray Yungen's book For Many Shall Come in My Name chapter one for an explanation of what "The Higher Self" entails!

Pippin points out that prayer circles focus our attention on one thing thus producing relaxation. In a "Dig Deeper" section Pippen suggests teens try out coloring a mandala.  She directs: get a Bible, light a candle, and color a mandala.  If more mandalas are needed she tells the reader to click on a place labeled "Patterns."  This will bring one to June Moon's "Free Visionary Art"   "This art," says June, "is my gift to you."  And what a New Age pagan gift that is: Mandalas, Kitchen Kali, Wave of Bliss, Ganesha 01, Sri Yantra, Shiva Yantra, Fractal Heart, and more.  Imagine a teen, or teacher coming upon this art site while using this magazine!

As a Side Note: "The Way of the Child" teaches contemplative techniques to young children in quiet peaceful rooms lit with a candle.  The children go to reflection stations such as "gazing" or "contemplation at the sand table."  At the sound of a chime the kids move on to a circle for discussion ending in a calm, peaceful exit.  At every step these lessons reflect New Age overtones.

Prayer Space Mandalas 
In "Upper Room Ministries Current News, Stories, and Insights" an article "Creating Prayer Spaces"
lists twelve sacred spaces where one can renew the soul in times of busyness, and as you guessed "Mandala-God at the Center" was one.  There was also "The Blessing Bowl," "Audio Lectio," and "Drumbeat of Mercy" among others.  http://voices.upperroom.org/prayerspaces/

A Monstrance Mandala
Kathryn Costa, mandala artist, designed "Mandala Inspired by Monstrance" that she found at St. Joseph's Cathedral in Manchester, NH. An article "Prayer, Adoration, and Mandalas" from a Heart to Heart Column (November 2015) tells of Costa's art, and names different ways to pray which "also incorporates from the Eastern traditions of creating a mandala as an expression of contemplative and intercessory prayer."  It also notes that just creating a mandala can be a meditation to help one maintain order and balance.  The article ends with a sample presentation as to how to project the mandala image, listen to relaxing music, color and pray with the mandala monstrance page, and finally, practice Eucharistic Adoration.   Read about Costa, and her book: The Mandala  Guidebook: How to Draw, Paint, and Color Mandala Art at  www.100mandalas.com .

Contemplative Cottage Mandalas
The author who works with theology grad students writes this, "When I began doing 'Sabbath Space' with the ... students I filled the air with yummy candle scents and had quiet corners set aside for peaceful reflection. ... But people need a little guidance ... so I went looking for something like a coloring book for adults.  Instead, I found hundreds of mandalas on the internet ... intricate geometric shapes just begging to be colored."  http://contemplativecottage.com/tag/mandalas/

New Way to Pray Mandalas
In "Coloring IS a Spiritual Practice" the Rev. Dr. L. Roger Owens contends during his spiritual formation retreats he'd notice a few people "will be bent over their desks with intricate mandalas in front of them ... listening to me ...." as they color.  Now does Owens feel these "poor souls" are being duped by falling for this new color fad?  Does Owens feel they should be "engaging in a real spiritual practice like praying or reading Scripture?"  "No," says Rev. Dr. Owens, "I give thanks that they are discovering a way of prayer their churches never taught them, but that is helping them listen to God and be present to others.  And when I enter Barnes and Nobles ... I only hope that more Christians might discover this practice and deepen their lives with God."

Now Owens, after thinking of the Biblical Martha's distractibility, reflected:  "Do you know what Martha needs?  A color book."  A coloring book, avows Owens, is just a form of "mindfulness practice."  However, mindfulness is a practice based on Zen Buddhism.  Read more here:
"Mindfulness: No-Mind Over Matter" from Stand Up for Truth. http://standupforthetruth.com/2012/02/mindfulness-no-mind-over-matter/ 

Color Me Discerning, or Color Me Deceived: Which Will It Be?

We're in the midst of  "a meditation invasion via color books" --and specifically through mandala
color books and like New Age books as I've shown in this article.  My question is if you've already bought into this color book craze under the guise of finding relaxation, and calm will you continue as a deceived colorist, or will you become a discerning one?  Will you understand that although coloring is not evil in and of itself, if it leads one into idolatrous sacred circles or like images then one must be very careful not to get entangled in this color book web.  May we, as the Lord warned in the Old Testament, "... Repent, and turn yourselves from your idols;  turn away your faces from all your abominations."  Ezekiel 14:6.  And may we strive to become discerning, rather than deceived.

Mandala circles will not give one true rest, or peace, or hope for this can only be found through the Lord Jesus who said,  "Come unto me all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." Matthew 11:28   May our desire be to do as the old hymn admonishes: "Turn your eyes unto Jesus, Look full in his wonderful face, And the things of earth will grow strangely dim, In the light of His glory and grace."        

Learn to Discern Granny Verse:  Psalm 119:37
"Turn away mine eyes from beholding vanity; and quicken thou me in thy way."

For More Information:

Light House Trails Books: For Many Shall Come in My Name  by Ray Yungen.

Light  House Trails: "Question to the Editor: Any Information on Adult Coloring Books?"

"The Connection between Mantras, Mandalas, and Spiritism" by Dr. John Ankerberg and Dr. John Weldon (c.1999)