Adult Coloring Books and Mandalas, A Warning For Christians

Last week I received a kind gift from a friend. She is one of the godliest people I know. My friend is smart, independent, and she loves the Lord. She is not naive. She is a professional, a leader. She is not a crunchy new-ager. I have known her for 15 years. We are super close.

The gift is a cool and popular new item that many of my other Christian friends have used especially during times of illness. They are popular with cancer patients who just sit all day in hospital beds, bored of Judge Judy.

They are sophisticated versions of what children daily do.

They are nostalgic.

They are adult coloring books.

I see them in Barnes and Noble. I see them in Michael’s Craft Store.

I have seen them in the Christian owned craft store Hobby Lobby.

They are just coloring books.

Innocent.

I have no problem with coloring books. I have kids. We color.

I do have problems with Mandalas though, which happen to be a part of most of these adult coloring books.

So, I just want to give a warning to my sweet Christian friends to stay away from mandalas and I will let you know why.

A mandala is that beautiful circle pattern that looks like it would be impossible to draw free hand. It is also a “spiritual and ritual symbol in Indian religions, representing the universe.  In common use, mandala has become a generic term for any diagram, chart or geometric pattern that represents the cosmos metaphysically or symbolically; a microcosm of the universe.” (Wikipedia).

9781785950902

It is a concentric energy circle.

A mandala is used in tantric Buddhism as an aid to meditation. They meditate on the image until they are saturated by it. They believe that you can merge with the deity by meditating on the mandala. “A mandala is also visualized (dhyana) by the yogin whose aim it is to merge with the deity.”

Focusing on mandalas is a spiritual practice where you merge with “deities”–this practice opens the door to demons.

The thing is, how is the devil going to get Christians to meditate on mandalas?

No Christian would put one in their house and sit and stare at it for an hour, chanting the sacred word!

But if the enemy can get a Christian to stare at a mandala because they are coloring it, he can have them absentmindedly focus their attention on the image and they will unknowingly open up their subconscious to this image in almost the same way.

“Mandalas may be used to focus attention, as a spiritual teaching tool, to establish a sacred space or as an aid to meditation or trance induction.” (Ritual Objects of Buddhism and Hinduism)

According to the article above about “Ritual Objects of Buddhism and Hindusim,” a mandala is a key tool to practicing a religious ritual, and it opens people up to trances. When you think about how our brains zone out when we color anyways, this makes it even more interesting.

“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. By constructing a mandala, a monk ritually participates in the Buddha’s teachings.”(ReligionFacts.com)

The mandala itself is a receptacle for “deities” and “universal forces.” It is not just opening a door to the spiritual realm, it is knocking on the door of a false temple.

If the monk constructing the mandala is participating in a spiritual ritual, what are we doing as we mindlessly trace the shape with a colored pencil and try to keep the pattern balanced with our coloring choices. We are also going through the motions, participating in this ritual without even knowing it.

“The process of constructing a mandala is a sacred ritual. It is a meditative, painstaking process that can take days or even weeks to complete. Mandalas are constructed from the center outward, beginning with a dot in the center. With the placement of the center dot, the mandala is consecrated to a particular deity.” (ReligionFacts.com)

We need to be aware of what these images are, because they are not just pretty shapes and designs.

Those are the spiritual roots. But how did they come to get associated with coloring books or relaxation?

Well, Carl Jung was a famous Swiss psychiatrist and psychotherapist in early 20th Century. He founded the school of analytical psychology.  He focused primarily on the study of the integration of the conscious and the unconscious mind.

 

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Jung wrote a book called “Mandala Symbolism.” In this book he introduced the Eastern mandala practice to Western psychotherapy. He began to have his patients create mandalas, to help him identify their emotional disorders. He didn’t look at their tea leaves or read their palms. But he didn’t just believe this was pure science either. Carl Jung was deeply into the occult. He even published a dissertation about the science behind psychic mediums called, “On the Psychology and Pathology of So-Called Occult Phenomena.” Where he sat in and even participated on seances. (The Portable Jung, by Joseph Campbell).

Jung was also seriously involved in practices of alchemy, astrology, studies in mysticism.

 

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So Carl Jung brought the Eastern spiritual ritual of drawing mandalas to Western culture in a “scientific” context.

But how did they end up in our coloring books at Hobby Lobby? Is this purely recreational and relaxing? Is this therapy?

It is a surprising new trend. Even Katie Couric discussed an article about how it has become a craze, and publishers haven’t seen anything like this in 30 years. “Inside the Adult Coloring Book Craze” by Robin Stein.

61CI1AL5JtL._SX258_BO1,204,203,200_Is it artistic? Is it therapeutic? Is it stress relieving?

Normal everyday people believe it is just some fun new hobby. But why didn’t they just choose to color with their children, or take an art class? Things that have been around forever?

Why do people want to color in these books with mandalas all over them?

In the article by Stein a mom says,

“I love it,” said Nichole Schmidt, a stay-at-home mom. “It’s very meditative. It gets me away from the kids. And this is my Zen.”

If you go to one of the coloring book websites they will tell you why coloring mandalas are relaxing–“they are energetically alive and promote well-being.”

WHAT?!?!

Go ahead and read from this article by Stephen Vrancken called, “Your Introduction to the Healing Powers of Mandala Coloring.

“About mandala coloring healing

Your Introduction to the Healing Powers of Mandala Coloring Pages

“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”

How Do Mandala Coloring Pages Activate the Mandala’s Healing Powers?

Mandalas are used universally to promote healing and other positive states of being. Why? One explanation comes from its very design. The mandala is a circular matrix with a center point—a point from which all things are possible. From this sacred center comes forth infinite possibilities and unlimited potential. When you use your mandala coloring pages, you’re expressing your desires for healing and wellness.

You’re also acknowledging and declaring your own unlimited potential!”

He says, that just by using your coloring book you are expressing your interest in the mandala magic, therefore opening yourself up to spiritual outcomes. So even if you are a Christian, he is saying that you are a willing participant in a spiritual activity and essentially “declaring your own unlimited potential.”

Mindfulness is a Buddhist concept that is becoming increasingly popular.

He continues . . .

“You can think of the mandala as being energetically alive, a means of creating a pathway to a desired state of being. What state of being do you desire to create? Maybe you want to experience inner peace or maybe you simply want to use the circular pattern to express your artistry. For whatever purpose you choose to work with the mandala, know that you can achieve it through mandala coloring.
Imagine yourself with your mandala coloring pages in front of you. All you have to do is set your intention and awaken your mandalas by infusing them with color. It’s that simple and that powerful.

Amazing as it sounds, by simply coloring mandalas, you can accomplish the following:

•    Relax & enhance your meditation
•    Balance your body, your mind, and your spirit
•    Make a spiritual connection
•    Expand your creativity
•    Increase your self-awareness
•    Encourage your self-expression
•    Just have fun, alone or with your friends”

So now, he has taken the use of mandalas from a spiritual ritual and transformed it into a New Age form of relaxation on a Sunday afternoon with a glass of iced tea.

“How Do You Unlock the Healing Power of the Mandala?

One of the easiest and most effective ways to experience the healing power of the mandala is by using mandala coloring pages.  Why are mandala coloring pages such an effective tool for healing? First of all, coloring is fun and relaxing. It’s an enjoyable way to express your creativity. And, it’s an activity you can fully participate in whether you’re 4 or 94 years old.
Do you want more proof on why you too can easily unlock the healing powers within the mandala coloring pages?

•    There is no right or wrong way to color a mandala.
•    You can color just about anywhere.
•    Coloring lifts your spirits and brings out the child in you.
•    You can color at your own pace.
•    You don’t have to follow any rules when you color.
•    Kids and adults alike enjoy coloring.
•    You know you’re creating a unique work of art.
•    You can share the experience by coloring in groups.
•    It’s affordable.
•    It activates the intuitive genius within you.”

So my question when it comes to the whole adult coloring books is this–

Is it really about coloring?

Or is it about spiritual hosts of wickedness sneaking mandalas into our homes and into our subconscious minds?

Is it really about recreation or is it New Age evangelism?

I can color all I want.

But if I do, I am going to get a big fat coloring book of Bible stories.

It isn’t so trendy and cool, but at least it is honest.

I don't alwasy

*I am not endorsing beer either; I don’t drink alcohol.

Although I am sure many people think beer is more relaxing than a coloring book.

(This meme was just a joke) 

I guess it all comes down to what do you want to practice?

Is it really about coloring pictures?

Would you be willing to stop coloring the mandalas?

I don’t think my friend sinned by getting a coloring book.

I don’t think my friends know that mandalas are “sacred objects” of other religions; that means they are off limits to solid Christians.

You wouldn’t color pentagrams would you? Upside down crosses? Swastikas?

No–Because you KNOW what they are.

I just want to help get the word out.

But in the end, I am sure that many people will accept it like they did yoga.

God Bless.

For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Ephesians 6:12

For More Information:

Meditation: Pathway to Wellness or Doorway to the Occult, by Ray Yungen

 

 

My Response to Your Comments–Talking In Public About Christian Beliefs

 

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About The Last Hiker

Following Him Up the Mountain
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668 Responses to Adult Coloring Books and Mandalas, A Warning For Christians

  1. Maria Adela says:

    One thing is to simply colour a ‘mandala’the other thing is the practices that are COMPLEX AS ANYTHING that go with the Buddhist traditions. And er…theirs is not exactly some thing resemblance to fear something that should not begetting such a responding satanism….It is not something I’d follow but to invite demons?? One would be FAR more open to demons and more negative things entering ones life when the devil takes small fears, things from other faiths/cultures that do not have him in their system of belief (and if anything,the great Adversary of Christianity would hate that not simply from the lack of souls he can prey on as easily but also, because by blinding us and making us focus on the evil things that Yoga or mandalas in the rudimentary form they show up in the US. Simply for colouring or for exercising, nothing tying it to the many things that would MAKE it bud hist….this is perfect for his plans. We will then focus on a culture’s beliefs etc, their mandala and the imitation of the imagery and just give it all this power. And meanwhile, somewhere else, someone might make a colouring book and sneakily insert something that is just not right at ALL but we won’t notice because he redirected our attention as he is wont to do.)

    So many of the mandalas I have coloured/seen etc aren’t anything like any buddhist picture of one even. Often, they use mandala in the LOOSEST of ways poffible (flower mandalas? anima ones? Its simply a repeated or mirrored image that instead of covering a page/not repeating/is yada yada is in the shape the stereotypical mandalas of buddhism are formed) There are Celtic knot type ones. And there is one in a CHristian coluring book (except no one calls it that but the ones in the mandala books aren’t exactly that different) … maybe two. There are many flowers and a psalm in th middle and another has patterns in some polygonal or just a square but again repetition is there etc. and a Scripture quote.

    As long as one does not enter that altered state of mind achieved by Buddhist priest in meditation (vs. our meditation simply meaning…’contemplation’/’tranquility’ or being stil/tuning out the daily material life that often separates us from being as close as we can to Christ.

    I will often be listening to Christian music or some older, 1900s gospel music, maybe throw in traditional choir pieces (from ones sang by some English choirs like Abide With Me to American choirs singing various pieces from Handels Messiah and so o….I’ll have read my bible passages of the morning and will sit and focus on the more repetitive kind of colouring as the brain will start just thinking of colours, focusing on the actions, and I’ll pray. Or voice my worries, fears, hopes and joys to the Lord.

    • Anonymous says:

      Thank you, heartily, for taking the time to express my thoughts about this! Are you in my head? lol It’s ridiculous to assume that ink on paper has the power to invade our spirit. I thought it ironic that there was a picture of a stained glass window, clearly from a cathedral or church of some sort, included in the article. Horrors!!! How many good Christian folks have been corrupted in that church through the ages? Smash that window immediately!!! Sigh.
      If this were actually true, we would all have been lost years and years ago! I seem to remember quilts that my lovely Christian grandmother constructed from circular motifs similar to “mandalas”. I can say, unequivocally, that her home was never occupied by some demonic spirit. Perhaps we should all go and live in total isolation, like some cult, in order to avoid demonic possession. Gosh, I was going to adopt your rant for myself, but I’m now fully in the mode, too!
      Resolutely signing off, grateful for you posts.

      • The article had nothing to do with the stained glass window, that image was placed in the article because of the quote from Carl Jung.

        • Rivkah says:

          Last Hiker, I have written 2 responses to this blog in the last week and neither of them have been posted. What I wrote was civil and well-thought out. I quoted scripture to back my views. You have posted other’s remarks that do not agree with your own. Is there a good reason why you did not allow mine to be posted?

          • Uhm . . . I have posted many responses that disagree with my blog. I posted 665 comments for this blog alone. But I have 2,251 comments to this article that I haven’t posted. I haven’t even had a chance to read all of them. If you want to know why I stopped posting all the comments you can read “Talking In Public About Christian Beliefs.” It was just overwhelming and this is not something I do full time. I literally do not have the time to argue with people all day long. I respect that people think I am ridiculous. But this isn’t a chat forum. People can feel free to discuss this article any number of places–Facebook, chat rooms, forums, with your friends over coffee, etc. I just don’t have time to moderate and respond to every comment. I do thank you for responding. I will go see if I can find your other comments if I get time later today. But I am just a normal lady with a long to-do list.

  2. Maria Adela says:

    I don’t get where that paragraph stating the benefits of colouring mandalas is at all pointing in a ‘spiritualism/occult/new age fashion AT ALL

    1. I think if the word ‘spirit hadn’t been used maybe it wouldn’t have been a blip on the radar.

    The wording is very err…flourish filled yes. And it is using terminology that would appeal to a WIDE demographic. While he sounds like he’s a bit…out there lol….just because the author used the words as he did ….does he have that much power (a mere MAN following sillly ideas of what a religion or spiritual beneficial one at least….is and thinks he’s Lord Byron or Wordsworth but sounds like the weird aunt a friend had..with crystals and who had never been the same after Woodstock?? yeeeah)

    While colouring mandals I do in fact connect with my inner ”core’..my soul. Where I feel the Lord, the Holy Spirit….I let Him flow through me and guide me. Yes, that thing he mentions where the repetition in mandalas lead one to this calm state is a good thing here (as w do not enter meditative trances. It’s a simple, normal human brain function. If we have details as in mandals…and we have a variiiiety of colours/shades/, art supplies … well, it starts narrowing down things, we start thinking of patterns and how we will fill them in, if we are advanced oin colouring we ponder the technique. And soon, the 3 hour traffic ja on the way home is in the past. YOu now are open to Christ.When one is at peace, not furious, jeallus, spiteful etc. which are things that come up so often. When we are being good Christians and not trying to force what we believe is what we should be doing (forcing ourselves to be this or that because it’s society’s ideaof a true accomplishment…) we also now are more open to the lord. And by BEING cautious and not taking evrything without a healthy bit of scepticism, it’s VERY beneficial to colour mandalas.

    Often I realise what injstice I happened to cause or what injury ….I am never complacent and think I’m in the best peacefulest state EVER, I know evil would be all the more angry then if one’s soul is connecting to its saviour and maker and rejoicing in the strength He gives us. this approach has helped me mend things that would have brought my soul to harm and pleased Satan. Instead I have needed less pain medication and xanax, things that can clead to addiction…..I calm down enough and think of how small I am but how important in the His plans a huge and complex plan I am. But yeah..I’ll stop babbling.

  3. Maria Adela says:

    PS. Sorry. I’ll end my whole ramble now. Seeing evil everywhere and OVER interpreting things are things one should ALSO try to avoid. (the wole Apple thing. really??? I’m assuming we’re all refering to Eden? Fall of Man? The Fruit of the Tree of Knowledge was never actually said to BE an apple. GO ahead. Check. It’s all symbolism. ANd actually, the APple logo was thought up in associatiopn to Sir Issac Newton and the apple that fell leading to the laws of gravity. Before it was an APPLE as in the frit, the logo had a sketch of newton under a tree “Newton… A mind forever voyaging through strange seas of thought… alone’” is written on the edges. As in the whole creative inventor mind. and that is all o.O

  4. Vivienne says:

    Why do Christians hate anything that’s fun? When I was a kid, they hated Star Wars and the Smurfs. Now it’s Harry Potter and coloring books. Give it a rest already. Help the poor and be kind to people. If everyone, everywhere, did that, the world would be a nicer place.

  5. L. Block says:

    Thank you for informing me of the history of the mandala. I have been a Christian for many years and had no clue of this religious history. I gave a coloring book to my teenage granddaughter for Christmas and wish I had known about this then. Thank you for informing me and I will resist these drawings in the future. I’m not sure about how to get this book back from her, but I will be praying about it. Thanks again.
    lo

    • Anonymous says:

      Offer to trade something for the coloring book. She may not have used it at all.

  6. Mark McCord says:

    I am a Christian, but this article is pure nonsense. I love the way, however, that you wove a beer advertisement into a diatribe about how as Christians we should guard against worldly influences.

  7. Robert says:

    I think that’s a little over board. It’s a freaking coloring book. By your own logic you can be spiritually invaded when you zone out reading or staring at the tv.

  8. Marcella says:

    You could just as well recite scripture, prayers, or sing songs of praise while you color. It’s all in what you concentrate on. The mandala itself is not going to bring eastern beliefs into your mind unless you introduce them first.

  9. irene says:

    There must be some creative Christian out there who could design a colouring book with biblical references and pictures. It’s the colouring in that people enjoy…..so give them something better to colour!!!

  10. V. Rose says:

    It is what you make of it. I don’t see demons or deitys. All I see is beautiful art.

  11. Susan says:

    What you focus on IS important. It is good to color and pray at the same time- I have found that I pray differently. But to just ‘zone’ out is not what God wants for His people. Select a word from Scripture–a concept– write down related Scripture verses and color around them, decorate them WHILE praying them. It is a wonderful way to relax and meditate ON the Word. Satan will always have his fakes and counterfeits but God has provided relaxing and nourishing meditation on His Word as a way for us to pray and to grow.

  12. Sharon Snell says:

    I wondered about this when I looked at the books. I did purchase some I felt more comfortable with . . . animals, buildings.

  13. RW says:

    I purchased one for my mother. Two days later. she called me and said, “Please take this book back.” On the back of the book, it clearly had the origin of the Mandellas from Buddism. We won’t no part of Buddism of any sort… regardless if we enjoyed coloring. We decided to buy a different coloring book.

  14. Gloria says:

    Gracias por decirnos de este nuevo invento que hicieron la verdad yo desconocía todo esto y te agradezco mucho que no haya estado estaba bueno esta página de información para saber que está más

  15. Candy says:

    By the author’s own logic, we shouldn’t read the Bible because the Bible speaks of idols and idol worshippers, beastiality and other sinful sexual acts, deceitfulness, etc.

    Our Great God created geometry before it had a name. There is beauty in symmetry, in fractals, in patterns. If one cannot separate an inclination of a pattern from an archaic religion which doesn’t glorify God, then it would be best not to go outside and admire creation, because there are those that worship creation instead of the Creator.

    • No, you should TOTALLY read the Bible!!! Because if talks about all that sin, and tells us to stay away!!! There is beauty in Gods creation. And geometry is just fine. This article was about practicing something from another religion.

      • Saved & Grateful says:

        To the person who said the mandala warning is “scientific hogwash” — This is not about science, it is spiritual. As someone who was frighteningly and seriously affected by a similar practice, I can speak in truth and from first-hand experience that whether you believe about the danger of such practices or not, doesn’t make a difference to the enemy. If you spend time in an activity that is influenced by religions or practices that go against Christianity, and even whether you are aware or not — it can have devastating consequences to your spiritual well-being and even your eternity. I didn’t understand what was happening to me until God opened my eyes, through His Word. If you have read the bible (the ultimate truth of God) and are spiritually discerning, you will know that practices like those coloring books are dangerous. I’m not talking about basic kids coloring books with pictures of animals or cartoon characters, I’m talking about the ones you see all over on displays that are so popular right now. And usually any trend that has a cult-like following, should cause us to pause and research it’s background, connections and origins, before blindly diving in.
        All we can say, is that you have been warned. And The Last Hiker and those who agree with her are doing so, for your relationship with God and your spiritual wellbeing and safety.

  16. Anonymous says:

    I color books with flowers in them because I like flowers

  17. Tara says:

    You seem like the type of person I would hate ten seconds into meeting. Get a real life and mind of your own.

    • LOL! It is okay if you don’t like me. But I do have a real life, and I have a mind of my own–that is why I wrote a blog about something that THOUSANDS of people disagree with! 🙂

      • Gloria S says:

        Thank you “The Last Hiker” for stepping out with the truth. As Christians we are held accountable for our knowledge of scripture, i.e., false religions and satanic influences. The Bible, God’s Holy Word is very clear regarding these subjects for those that wish to KNOW the truth.. You are in good company and Jesus has already told us that we would be hated because of being true followers of Christ. May God Bless you for standing firm in HIM.

    • ellenska says:

      Yep, Tara — you’ve accurately identified yourself as a “hater,” someone who searches out blogs to tell other people how to think and behave, similar to an intellectual, but without the thinking part. Do you also barge into neighbors’ houses to criticize their decor and pass judgment on their reading habits?

      Fine — you’re super fond of your emotional reactions, but your own “real life” is about the destructive pleasures of spreading bile and hating people after meeting them for 10 seconds.

      Got anything else to add to the conversation besides “Me doesn’t like you”?

  18. Roni says:

    Last Hiker, Thank you for this very informative blog post. I agree that many Christians do not realize the origins of mandalas and would be well advised to avoid coloring books that contain them. Any Christian person who actually “reads” the Bible can see that destructive spiritual forces do exist… and these forces will endeavor to enter into our lives through both overt AND subtle means. Fortunately, there are many wonderful coloring books available for grown-ups that do not contain these Buddhist religious images. By exercising a bit of wisdom and common sense, Christians who enjoys coloring can continue to do so… without bringing images that represent Buddhist mysticism into their homes and spending hours looking at these images and thinking of ways to attractively color them.

  19. Pingback: The Adult Coloring Book Craze: Should You Join In? | Victory Church Products

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