A Spiritual Stress-Reducing Coloring Book for All Ages
Coloring is not just child’s play. Detailed coloring work activates both sides of the brain, requiring focus and creativity, detail and imagination. It helps create a meditative state that can reduce stress and break cycles of worry and negative self-talk.
This book of 120 images offers an added benefit by pairing beautiful nine-pointed-star-motif mandalas with the names of spiritual virtues. Meditating on the virtue while getting lost in the art of coloring can create a kind of simple prayer that draws us closer to our Divine potential.
In his book, The Secret of Emotions, Justice Saint Rain explains that virtues are not just abstract ideas - nor are they only actions. They are also intimately connected to our emotions. We feel kindness. We feel generous. We feel courageous. As you color these mandalas and think about the virtues on the facing pages, also take a few moments to get in touch with what it feels like to experience these virtues. The virtues in this book are all associated with positive sensations. Thinking, feeling and coloring while focusing on a virtue connects your mind, heart and body in a process whose goal is a deeper connection with the Divine. Meditating on the sensation associated with a virtue helps us learn how to identify it when we feel it. Associating positive sensations with these virtues makes us want to practice them more often. Practicing virtues helps us to better identify them when we see them expressed by others. And recognizing virtues in others helps us love them as children of God.
And here you thought you were just coloring pretty designs!
Of course, if the virtues don’t speak to you, it is also perfectly fine to think about a friend in need, a problem you are facing, a goal you want to achieve or simply the day’s grocery list while coloring. All sorts of new insights can come to you as one part of your mind focuses on filling in spaces while the other part explores the corners of your mind looking for hidden patterns and unexpected answers.
If you really want to get lost in the process, you can try repeating a mantra, affirmation or short prayer over and over while you color. “God is most glorious” is a nice example. Looking up a short quotation about the virtue before starting can also give your mind a place to rest and rejuvenate while you color.
There is no wrong way to color a pretty design that strikes your fancy – though we do recommend that you not use permanent markers because they bleed and soak through to other pages. Fine-tipped water-based markers, colored pencils and well-sharpened crayons – or any combination of the three – will produce pleasing and very different effects. While it is usually considered blasphemy to cut pages out of a book, in this case, feel free to remove pages, either before or after coloring them, and post them where you can enjoy them. The spiral binding makes it easy to remove one page at a time.
The designs are by three artists:
Joe Paczkowski, who designed several of our silk scarves, book covers and calendars
Howard Jacobs, a Baha'i artist from the Wilmette area, and
Justice Saint Rain, who turned the names of virtues into colorable art.
Please respect the artists' copyrights and do not make photocopies of these pages. It will only save you a few cents, and is not very virtuous.
Though Baha'is will appreciate the idea that all of the mandalas are based on nine-pointed stars, your friends will just think they are beautiful. So feel comfortable giving this to any of your friends - Baha'i or not, spiritual or not, artist or not. Once they spend just a few minutes relaxing with this simple creative process, they will be hooked - and so will you.
Deluxe Edition: The Deluxe edition is 8.5x10.75" with spiral binding so that it opens flat. It has 128 pages, is oriented horizontally and is printed on 70# paper, which is heavier than average.
I can squeeze two in a small flat-rate envelope, but the corners might get bent. More than that requires a larger box, which means Media Mail if all you order is books, or Medium Flat-Rate Priority if you are in a hurry and/or need non-book items.