Saturday, January 9, 2016

Coloring Meditation for the Whole Family

Son, hubby and me practicing a mandala meditation at Bird Rock Coffee in Little Italy, San Diego

I have practiced meditation for many years now, and can say without a shadow of a doubt that it has been one of the practices that has both helped me love and accept myself the most.

This is why it has been important for me to share meditation with my loved ones.

There are many ways to meditate but coloring has proven to be one of the easiest ways to meditate. I have given mandala coloring books, colored pencils and crayons to adults and children as presents for Christmas and birthdays. Most of them report back that sitting down to color has been very calming. Nowadays you can easily find many meditation coloring books in places like Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Target or Michael's.

One of my favorite ways to meditate with my family (my husband and 7 year old son) is by coloring a mandala coloring book or creating our own mandala. Creating your own mandala can be really fun!

Here's how we make our own mandala:

1. Set up the materials on a table: White paper, markers, crayons, pens and pencils.
(I like to play relaxing music while we color.)

2. Draw a large circle on the white paper.

3. Create a system:  Each person draws one thing or element of the mandala and then it's the other persons turn.

(If your child draws a little bit more than agreed upon, you can let it be since you are doing this with the intention of relaxing.)

4. Remind yourself to take deep breaths throughout the exercise, remind your loved ones to do so and engage in calming conversation.

5. Do this for about 20 minutes and then enjoy your work of art.

Creating a mandala together a couple times a month helps us find a way to connect and relax as a family. Try it! You'll find that it can be very satisfying.

Tania Franco

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