Adults have long used crafts to unwind, but why coloring books? Why now? It may have something to do with online access — and, funnily enough, the desire to unplug.
Like children, adults need a break from screen time– and many are rediscovering the analog pleasures of coloring inside the lines. The therapeutic benefits of art are nothing new; it’s a concept that practitioners use with patients of all ages.
Mindfulness and meditative coloring are recurring themes in the growing adult coloring book industry. A search for “adult coloring books” online will yield several books of mandalas, a ritual symbol in Buddhism and Hinduism that represents the universe, waiting to be colored in.
Mandala means “sacred circle” in Sanskrit. Circles appear in nature (flowers, snowflakes, sun, moon, etc.) and are also powerful symbols in cultures throughout world history. In various spiritual traditions, mandalas are used to facilitate meditation and are used in sacred rites as a transformative tool to assist with healing.
In the many traditions where mandalas are used, there are different rites where the practitioner, at least metaphorically, establishes a dialogue with the symbol or deity at the core of the mandala by moving progressively from the outside towards the centre.
Once within the centre, the practitioner connects with the central symbol or deity and he or she is able to perceive all manifestations as part of a single underlying whole and gets closer to the goal of enlightenment or perfect understanding.
Tibetan Buddhist Monks and Native American Indians all use mandalas as a way of evoking spiritual energy, meditation and healing. Psychologist Carl Jung used mandalas with his clients and for his own personal growth. His studies revealed their creation allowed a deep healing to take place from within the human psyche.
In various spiritual traditions, mandalas may be employed for focusing attention of practitioners and adepts, as a spiritual guidance tool, for establishing a sacred space, and as an aid to meditation and trance induction.
Focusing on what you are coloring will help relieve stress in three ways:
- It is a distraction from whatever negative thoughts you were focusing on.
- Coloring keeps your hands busy, allowing your mind to wander. You can solve a lot of problems and come up with some creative ideas.
- Connecting with our creative source is healing. We are all creative beings. Remembering how to be creative is a powerful way to relieve stress. When we remember how creative we are, we know we can solve any problem.
If you choose to color a mandala it will tap into your creativity without any need for artistic expertise. The process of coloring can sooth and nourish you. Coloring mandalas is a great way to start using mandalas in your everyday life.
You can find many online pages with all kinds of mandalas click here to check one of them.